Sark newest ‘Bama assistant multi-tasking earlier than title sport


Steve Sarkisian is the newest Alabama coordinator to be drawing up sport plans for a nationwide title showdown earlier than leaving for a brand new head teaching job.

The highest-ranked Crimson Tide’s offensive chief is making an attempt to deal with the transition as enterprise as ordinary, saying Wednesday that his “week has been as regular because it could possibly be.”

“Fairly actually, my week for me can be a traditional sport week as if I hadn’t taken the Texas job,” Sarkisian stated. “My focus is on the sport. I’m prepping for the ballgame.”

However the truth is, Sarkisian is Texas-bound. The Longhorns fired Tom Herman and employed Sarkisian eight days earlier than the nationwide championship sport Monday night time towards No. 3 Ohio State in suburban Miami and following a semifinal win over Notre Dame.

Sarkisian stated in his “spare time,” he focuses on Texas, engaged on assembling a brand new workers and recruiting.

It is a acquainted situation for Alabama coach Nick Saban, a six-time nationwide champion coach whose workers has been a prolific head teaching launching (or re-launching) pad for the likes of Kirby Sensible, Lane Kiffin and Sarkisian.

The distinction this time is the accelerated timeframe from Sarkisian’s hiring to the title sport.

Others pulling that double obligation have taken their new jobs in early to mid December, giving them a head begin on recruiting, hiring workers, and so on. However usually that is outdated hat for Saban and Alabama.

In addition to the day-to-day teaching, Sarkisian stated he has tried “to be a sponge” with Saban. Meaning learning “why he goes about what he does, a few of the choices he makes.”

“In order that in the event you ever get the chance like I’m getting now that hopefully you may take a few of these issues with you to be a greater coach down the street,” he stated.

Saban went via an identical transition himself when he was getting ready to grow to be head coach at Michigan State with a handful of video games remaining whereas working as Invoice Belichick’s defensive coordinator for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

His message: Do not forget that these alternatives wouldn’t come if the gamers didn’t carry out.

“So that you sort of owe it to the gamers to present your greatest, to do your greatest to assist them get ready for the sport to allow them to play properly within the sport,” Saban stated. “That’s how I all the time felt. I believe that’s how Sark feels.

“Many of the guys up to now have been in a position to try this and been efficient, and it’s not been a distraction for us. We’re going to attempt to assist handle it each method that we will in order that it’s not a distraction for us this 12 months.”

Sarkisian has directed one of many nation’s most explosive offenses, with an offensive line honored because the nation’s greatest, plus three top-5 Heisman Trophy finishers led by winner DeVonta Smith. He received the Broyles Award because the nation’s prime assistant.

Sarkisian is a former USC and Washington coach who arrived at Alabama as an analyst in 2016 and has used the expertise to re-launch his head teaching profession.

The listing of Alabama coordinators touchdown head jobs forward of massive video games continues to develop:

— Mike Locksley, offensive coordinator to Maryland: Like Sarkisian, Locksley began at Alabama as an analyst. Like Sarkisian, he received the Broyles Award. Then he was employed by Maryland December 4, 2018. Alabama beat Oklahoma within the semifinals earlier than a 44-16 loss to Clemson within the nationwide title sport.

— Kirby Sensible, defensive coordinator to Georgia. Sensible juggled each jobs for greater than a month after his Dec. 6, 2015 hiring. The Tide nonetheless beat Clemson 45-40.

— Lane Kiffin, offensive coordinator to Florida Atlantic. Kiffin coached Alabama within the semifinal win over Washington in 2016, however after a lackluster offensive efficiency he didn’t stick round for the 35-31 championship sport loss to Clemson. Sarkisian was elevated from analyst however wound up leaving to run the Atlanta Falcons offense. “It was an amazing expertise,” Sarkisian stated of his title-game reign over the offense. “It was a singular one.”

— Jim McElwain, offensive coordinator to Colorado State. Practically a month handed from his hiring to the January 2012 title sport rematch towards LSU, which ’Bama received 21-0. Now at Central Michigan, McElwain went on to additionally lead the Florida Gators program. He was employed on Dec. 12.

— Jeremy Pruitt, defensive coordinator to Tennessee. Helped the Tide win the 2017 nationwide championship after accepting the job with the Volunteers that December.

Now, it’s Sarkisian’s flip. Jones has some recommendation for the Longhorns quarterbacks about their new coach. The Alabama QB stated they need to “simply say take pleasure in Coach Sark. He’s a terrific man.”

“He’s coached in any respect ranges, NFL, faculty, so you may get numerous completely different data from what he teaches you once you watch movie,” Jones stated. “After which simply learn to assume like Coach Sark, as a result of he sees all the things the protection does and he’s going to place you in the very best place to succeed as a quarterback and an offense.”

First issues first. He’ll attempt to make all the suitable requires Alabama another time.


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