Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will remain with the Crimson Tide after interviewing to fill Colorado head coaching vacancy. ESPN.com reported Thursday that Alabama is prepared to make Sarkisian one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the country. Yahoo Sports also reported that Sarkisian will stay in Tuscaloosa.
that Sarkisian interviewed for the job and was considered one of the front-runners prior to his decision to stay with the Crimson Tide. Former Arkansas and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, current Air Force coach Troy Calhoun and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy have all been linked to the job left vacant by new Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker.
Sarkisian is entering his second full season as the leader of the Crimson Tide offense. He led a unit that set the single-season program record for yards per play at 7.89 — tied with LSU for the best mark in the SEC. The 510.8 yards per game ranks second in any season in program history behind the 522 yards per game it put up in 2018.
Prior to joining the Crimson Tide, Sarkisian served as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons from 2017-18, and an analyst on the 2016 Alabama staff. He took over play-calling in the College Football Playoff National Championship loss to Clemson following that season after head coach Nick Saban fired Lane Kiffin.
Sarkisian was a staple of the USC staff in the 2000s that put the Trojans’ program on the map. He led the Washington Huskies to a 34-29 record from 2009-13, and was 12-6 in one-plus seasons as the head coach of USC from 2014-15. He was fired on Oct. 12, 2015 after news of an alcohol problem surfaced.
Sarkisian will get the benefit of the return of star wide receiver DeVonta Smith, running back Najee Harris and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood now that he will remain in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide also return star all-purpose player Jaylen Waddle, and will have a quarterback battle during the offseason that includes redshirt junior Mac Jones, sophomore Taulia Tagovailoa, redshirt freshman Paul Tyson and true freshman early enrollee Bryce Young.