Life at the University of Washington for the new Director of the Foster School’s Professional Sales Program has come full circle for Barry Erickson (BA ’86), rather, Captain Husky.
Erickson’s time at the UW started at the age of one on the shoulders of his father, going to Husky football games in the 1960s. Then, during his undergraduate years at the business school, Captain Husky was born. The superfan with mask, cape and purple W emblazoned on his chest roamed the sidelines and stands for a 25-year run that ended with the remodeling of Husky Stadium in 2011…until 2017.
In 2017, Barry “Captain Husky” Erickson swapped the mask and cape for a blazer and joined the Foster School of Business to take over the Professional Sales Program, succeeding its founder Jack Rhodes (BA ’61) who started the award-winning program in 2001.
Today, Erickson’s responsibilities include teaching the core sales courses at Foster, development and facilitation of sales internships with local companies, and providing recruiting opportunities with the program’s 165 students. Erickson’s life-long commitment to the purple & gold are evident in his classroom, where his love and enthusiasm for the Dawgs are infectious. He ends each weekly class with a survey of whom he will see at Husky Stadium (or any Husky event) over the weekend. Whether autumn, winter or spring, a hearty “GO DAWGS!” adjourns each class.
The final ‘full circle’ moment lies in the fact that Erickson’s kids Kelton and Halle are a current junior and incoming freshman at the UW respectively. In fact, Kelton now dons his father’s legendary cape on Saturdays as Captain Husky 2.0 to perform a traditional second half H-U-S-K-I-E-S spell out.
As for Foster’s Professional Sales Program, since Erickson’s arrival it continues a strong growth trajectory, boasting an annual 98+% student job placement rate and similar rate of return for company hosts and program sponsors awaiting the next class of sales-skilled students.