Mark Erickson was a fixture in Cal State Stanislaus track and field, as he was usually seen near the hammer throw or shot put rings at track meets. That was certainly the case last week when the NCAA Division II Championships were held at Al Brenda Track at Warrior Stadium.
Erickson, who spent many years as a throwers coach with the Warriors, passed away on Monday. He reportedly lived with heart problems in his last few years.
"We are all deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of (Coach) Erickson," Stanislaus athletic director Milt Richards said. "Mark was an outstanding coach, great teacher and mentor to hundreds of students and student-athletes throughout his 30-plus year career at Cal State Stanislaus. We will all miss him."
He spent parts of his final days near some of the best college track and field athletes at Warrior Stadium last week, when he volunteered to assist with the national championship meet. He also received a lifetime achievement honor from Warrior Athletics during the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships on May 7.
Erickson served as an assistant coach in the track and field program for 33 years until his final retirement in 2010. Under Erickson, 27 Warriors earned All-American status while 20 student-athletes won conference championships. He helped now Stanislaus coach Geoff Bradshaw win a national championship in the decathlon in 1994.
Erickson was also the director of housing at Stanislaus until he retired.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at Cross Point Church, located on Needham and 12th streets in Modesto.