Alabama's Steve Sarkisian named Texas football coach, but will coach in championship game
Alabama football offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has accepted the head coaching position at the University of Texas.
"On Jan. 4, 2006, I was the USC quarterback coach when we played Texas in that famed national championship game," Sarkisian said in a statement released by Texas. "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. 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, who replaces Tom Herman, confirmed he will coach the Crimson Tide offense in the Jan. 11 College Football Playoff Championship against Ohio State on a press conference call with reporters.
Alabama was prepared to make Sarkisian the highest-paid assistant coach in the nation had he remained on Nick Saban’s staff for 2021, sources indicated.
Sarkisian, who is in his second year coordinating Alabama's offense, has been a head coach at Washington and USC.
The Longhorns announced Saturday that they are moving on from Herman, who has been head coach since 2017.
Sarkisian served as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons before coming to Alabama as coordinator. He had worked as an analyst at Alabama and then was elevated to play-calling duties when Saban dismissed Lane Kiffin, then UA's offensive coordinator, in January 2017 before the national championship game against Clemson.
Alabama ranks second nationally in scoring offense at more than 49 points per game with Sarkisian at the helm.
Sarkisian served as on-field head coach for Alabama's 2020 victory over Auburn with Saban out due to COVID-19.