Art Erickson

Coach Art Erickson

Art Erickson was Glen Rock High School’s most successful softball coach and a dedicated leader of Glen Rock girls sports for five decades.

After the passage of Title IX, Glen Rock High School finally began having interscholastic sports teams (as opposed to informal club teams) for its female students. In the 1972-72 school year, the school began having the following four girls teams that played in the B-PSL: basketball; field hockey; gymnastics; and tennis. In the spring of 1975, it began having a softball team with Chemistry Teacher and Assistant Football Coach Art Erickson as the Head Coach.

Art continued to be the Head Coach of Glen Rock’s girls softball team through the 1989 season (except for one year where he taught in England). During those seasons, his teams enjoyed considerable success. The 1975 Team was led by Hall of Fame Inductee Anne Foster. In 1979, the team won the B-PSL 1 Championship, which was the school’s first B-PSL championship in girls’ sports. That team was led by Hall of Fame Inductee Lauren Stewart.

Three years later, the 1982 Girls Softball Team won the B-PSL Carpenter Championship and then won the Group 1, Sectional Championship (defeating Wood Ridge by a score of 3-2). It subsequently lost to the ultimate State Champion Whippany Park in the Group 1, North Jersey Championship. The 1982 Team had a final record of 18-5 and was led by Hall of Fame Inductees Mindy Feinberg and Allison Gemma.

The 1982 Team is the most successful softball team in Glen Rock High School history. No other Glen Rock softball team has won a Group, Sectional Championship.

After this season, with a now career record of 103-65, Art was inducted into the Bergen County Women’s Coaches Association Century Club.

In the following year, despite losing Allison and most of the prior year’s other starters to graduation, Glen Rock reached the Group 1, Sectional Final but lost to Wood Ridge by a score of 2-1 in extra innings. Its final record was 13-10-1. During that season, Mindy cemented her position as the school’s most accomplished pitcher in history (as well as being the leading hitter on that team).

The 1983 Team is the second most successful softball team in Glen Rock High School history. Other than the 1982 Team, no other softball team has reached and played in a Group, Sectional Championship.

The 1986 Team had a final record of 18-7, tying the 1982 Team for the most wins in a season –  which was the school record until the 2010 Team won 19 games.

Art also helped grow girls softball in Glen Rock, first by launching and coaching a Glen Rock U16 summer team and then launching and coaching a U18 Glen Rock-Ridgewood summer team that competed against other teams throughout New Jersey.

In addition to being Head Coach of the softball team, Art was an Assistant Coach for the football team during many of these years, including being Head Coach of several extremely successful freshman football teams that helped build the varsity team that won the 1980 Group 1, Sectional Championship.

After the 1989 season, Art decided to step down as Head Coach of the softball team (with a career record of 171-116, a winning percentage of 60%), so as to watch and coach his two young sons.

However, in the fall of 1992, he opted to be an integral Assistant Coach for the girls soccer team under Hall of Fame Inductee Head Coach Tracy Trobiano.

He also worked the clock at basketball games. 

In 1998, Art also returned as an Assistant Coach for the softball team. He coached the freshman team in 1998 and the junior varsity team in 1999 and 2000. In 2001, he was named Head Coach of the varsity team. Over the next four years, he devoted his energies to improving the school’s softball program and the 2004 Team had the school’s first season over .500 since 1995. Art then retired a second time as Head Coach – but continued to serve as an Assistant Coach until 2016.

In addition to coaching the girls soccer teams and softball teams, Art continued to teach chemistry until he retired after the 2015-16 school year.

Over five decades, Art taught chemistry and coached thousands of Glen Rock High School students. In addition to being the school’s most successful softball coach, he had an oversized impact on the school.