Alabama has a replacement for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, as the school announced that former Penn State and Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien will be the new offensive coordinator.
O’Brien last worked as a college coach in the 2013 season, when he was working as the head coach for the Nittany Lions. In those two seasons, Penn State went 15-9. As the head coach for the Texans, O’Brien went 52-48 before getting fired after starting the 2020 season 0-4.
“I am honored and excited to join Coach Saban’s staff at The University of Alabama,” O’Brien said. “I have an incredible amount of admiration for the rich football tradition at this University and the success Coach Saban has had during his time in Tuscaloosa.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with some of the best football players in the country while helping to continue the success this program has enjoyed for many years.”
In recent seasons, Saban has been able to take previously struggling coaches and helped them get new head coaching jobs. Some of the previous offensive coordinators to work for Saban include Lane Kiffin, Maryland head coach Mike Locksley and Sarkisian.
“We are pleased and happy to be able to add Bill O’Brien to our coaching staff,” Saban said in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience as both an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL and college. Bill is one of the brightest offensive minds in football, an outstanding teacher and excellent recruiter.”
O’Brien is not the only former NFL head coach to join Alabama’s staff this offseason, as Doug Marrone will be the offensive line coach. He was the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars this past season.
Alabama’s offense will look drastically different on the field in addition to the coaching staff. The Crimson Tide must replace starting quarterback Mac Jones, leading rusher Najee Harris, Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and three starting offensive linemen.
Alabama though has recruited extremely well and does have former 5-star quarterback Bryce Young waiting to step in for Jones. The Crimson Tide also signed the No. 1 overall recruiting class for the 2021 cycle.
Alabama went 13-0 this past season including a 41-24 win over Georgia. The Bulldogs were the only team to have a second-half lead against the Crimson Tide this season.
Georgia and Alabama are not set to play next season, but both figure to be the preseason favorites to win the SEC East and SEC West next season.
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