The Alabama Crimson Tide announced on Friday that they hired Steve Sarkisian as the team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, as first reported by Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated.
Sarkisian spent the 2016 season as an offensive analyst at Alabama, but former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin‘s hiring as the head coach of FAU created a void to fill.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban commented on the new hire, via the program’s release:
We are pleased to be able to hire an offensive coordinator with the pedigree and experience of Steve Sarkisian. He has a tremendous offensive mind and is someone we believe will do a great job of teaching and developing our football team on the offensive side of the ball.
He has been a great asset to our coaching staff this season and brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to his job. Steve will be a phenomenal addition to our coaching staff and someone who can seamlessly transition into the job with a full understanding of how our organization works.
Sarkisian has been coaching since 2000 after a short playing career in the CFL as a quarterback from 1997 to 1999.
He was the quarterbacks coach at USC from 2001 to 2003, 2005 and 2006 with a one-year hiatus in 2004 due to a stint with the Oakland Raiders at the same position.
After returning to USC as an assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Sarkisian was named the University of Washington head coach in 2009.
In five years, he compiled a 34-29 record with three bowl appearances. But Los Angeles came calling again, and he was brought on as the USC head coach in 2014.
But incidents that called his sobriety into question, according to ESPN.com, cut his tenure down to just 18 games before he was fired.
He managed to catch on with Alabama, though, and was an analyst for one of the nation’s best offenses.
Heading into the College Football Playoff semifinal, which is the Peach Bowl against Washington on New Year’s Eve, the Crimson Tide are averaging 40.5 points per game with a rushing attack that has put up 245 yards per game, per ESPN.com.
Kiffin will have control of the offense for the remainder of the Alabama season, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (via the Seattle Times), and Sarkisian will fully take over the offense next season.
With freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts as the centerpiece, Alabama’s offense should be just as dangerous come next season with Sarkisian at the helm.
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