A Vancouver native, Eric was born in 1947 and played his high school football at Kitsilano.
Recruited by Boise State, he’s still considered one of the school’s all-time outstanding quarterbacks. As a senior in 1971, he was named a team captain and led the Broncos a number of firsts that year.
Beginning with an emotional first-ever Boise State win over state rival Idaho by a 42-14 margin, the “Canadian Rifle” would also help earn the school’s first postseason win in the nationally-televised Camellia Bowl over Chico State. Guthrie was named MVP of the bowl game and was a First-Team All-Big Sky selection that year as well as an honorable mention AP All-American. Eric also served as the team's kicker during his time at Boise State and is tied atop the Bronco record books for most punts and most field goals in a game.
In 1972, Eric was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, but was released after training camp. Making his way to his hometown Lions later that year, he dressed for 32 regular season games for the Leos during the 1972 and 1973 seasons before opting to sign with the Detroit Wheels of the upstart World Football League.
He returned to the Lions in 1975 for two more seasons before wrapping his playing days with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1977. Over four years and 54 games as a Lion, he threw for 2,232 yards and 11 touchdowns on 329 completions and also saw significant action as the team’s punter before the club signed a local talent by the name of Lui Passaglia.