Steve Sarkisian era begins — UT welcomes new Longhorns football coach

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Steve Sarkisian’s final game at Alabama should have the Texas Longhorns fanbase drooling at the possibilities. The Crimson Tide offensive coordinator put together a game plan that featured 52 points and 621 yards of offense as Alabama ran Ohio State’s defense ragged for the national championship on Monday night.

Now, the 46-year-old Californian will fully immerse himself in the Forty Acres (and more) of the Texas Longhorns football program. University of Texas leadership officially introduced Sarkisian as the Longhorns head coach on Tuesday.

Sarkisian comes to Texas after two years of offensive mastery as the offensive coordinator at Alabama. The Crimson Tide were far and away the best offense in the country in 2020 boosted by the best players in the country.

On Monday, Sarkisian had the Buckeyes secondary spinning with Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith catching 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns in just one half of action. Smith left the game with a hand injury early in the third quarter.

Ohio State’s defense was twisting and turning off Alabama and Sarkisian’s misdirections, leading to busted coverages and wide open Alabama receivers all night.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones broke the College Football Playoff championship record with 464 passing yards. Jones was 36 for 45, throwing five touchdowns against the Buckeyes.

Sarkisian is returning to the college head coaching fraternity for the third time in his career. Texas will be his first head coaching job since USC in 2015. USC placed Sarkisian on leave and fired him halfway through the 2015 season due to struggles with addiction.

Sarkisian went to rehab for alcohol abuse and continues to follow the path of recovery.

Alabama hired Sarkisian as an offensive analyst in 2016, which included an unexpected promotion to the offensive coordinator position for the national championship game after Lane Kiffin left to take the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. Alabama lost the title game to Clemson that season.

From there, Sarkisian went to the NFL, taking the offensive coordinator position with the Atlanta Falcons. After a two-year run with the Falcons, Sarkisian returned to Tuscaloosa and Nick Saban as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

It was only a matter of time until another program came calling after Sark. Many have tried over the last two seasons, but the Longhorns were able to reel him in. Texas football is banking on him taking the Longhorns from good back to great.

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