Just when it seemed the coaching carousel had come to a stop, Texas part ways with head coach Tom Herman. Just hours later, the Longhorns had their next coach ready to go as they announced the hiring of Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) January 2, 2021
“On Jan. 4, 2006, I was the USC quarterback coach when we played Texas in that famed national championship game. There has always been something special about Longhorn football, its history and traditions – not just on that day – and I could never have imagined that 15 years later, I would join the Longhorns as their head coach,” Sarkisian said in a statement put out by the school. “This is a unique and compelling opportunity to lead this storied program to the next level, competing once again amongst the best in college football.”
Sarkisian has been the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban and Alabama for the past two seasons. This is Sarkisian’s third head coaching job, as he previously held that title at Washington and USC, the latter of which he was fired from in 2015 after it came to light that Sarkisian had a number of alcohol-related incidents while serving as the head coach.
The Alabama offense has been the best in the country this season, led by the likes of running back Najee Harris, quarterback Mac Jones and wide receiver Devonta Smith. The latter are Heisman Trophy finalists. The Crimson Tide ranked fifth in the country in total offense and second in scoring offense.
Alabama did all of that against an SEC-only slate, making Sarkisian’s work all the more impressive. Sarkisian won the Broyles Award this year, which is given to the nation’s top assistant coach in the country.
With Sarkisian gone, it means Nick Saban must once again hire a new offensive coordinator to lead the Crimson Tide. His last four have worked out pretty well starting with the hiring of Lane Kiffin back in December of 2013. Since then Alabama has turned to Brian Daboll, Mike Locksley and Sarkisian. The latter two have gone on to become head coaches at Power 5 schools, while Daboll is the offensive coordinator for the 12-3 Buffalo Bills.
According to a report from Al.com’s Matt Zenitz, Sarkisian will remain on staff through the national championship game for the Crimson Tide. Alabama will play Ohio State on Jan. 11 after the Crimson Tide beat Notre Dame and Ohio State took down Clemson. Sarkisian had also been a candidate to become the head coach at Auburn, but he reportedly turned down the chance to interview.
It is not yet known which, if any, assistants Sarkisian will bring with him to Texas. Alabama will likely see Sarkisian in the near future, as Alabama and Texas are set to play a home-and-home in 2022 and 2023.
Whoever Saban ends up hiring will have a ton of toys to play with going forward. While Jones, Smith and Harris are expected to be top-draft picks Alabama is on the verge of signing consecutive No. 1 ranked recruiting classes. Should Jones leave, former 5-star quarterback Bryce Young is expected to be the replacement for Jones.
Alabama scored 41 points against Georgia earlier this season, as the Crimson Tide won 41-24 over the Bulldogs.
“Sark is not as unconventional as people say. He’s a little more traditional. They’re a really good power run game,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said following the loss. “Their offensive line is extremely physical. They’re big, they’re physical, they lean on you and they got a great running back. So the passing game they use is really creative. They run a lot of the same plays from different formations.”
DawgNation’s Brandon Adams broke down the news, along with the latest around the Georgia football program.
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