For most football coaches, the ultimate goal is the same as it is for the players—to make it to the NFL. So, when you do make it and have the opportunity to stay, you take it. Right? Not if you are Steve Sarkisian.
Sarkisian has been on the market since being let go by the Atlanta Falcons following the end of the regular season. According to what sources have told ESPN’s Dianna Russini, he was offered the offensive coordinator position on Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s staff—but he declined.
Instead, he will be heading back to Tuscaloosa to work for Nick Saban at Alabama.
While the Arizona Cardinals offered Steve Sarkisian the offensive coordinator position, sources say he will headed back to coach with Nick Saban at Alabama.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) January 13, 2019
It is not known at this time what his role is going to be with the Crimson Tide. He had previously worked on Saban’s staff first as an analyst in 2016. When Lane Kiffin left prior to the national championship game that season for Florida Atlantic, Sarkisian was promoted to offensive coordinator for that game.
Some media outlets have reported that he was in Tuscaloosa Saturday interviewing for Alabama’s open offensive coordinator position. Mike Locksley, Alabama’s OC last season, let to become the new head coach at Maryland.
Alabama also has an opening for a quarterbacks coach.
That ended up being his only game as the OC for Alabama (a loss to Clemson). He was offered and accepted the role of offensive coordinator for the Falcons about a month later. During his tenure, the Falcons went from being the No. 1 scoring offense unit in the league (33.8 points a game) to No. 15 in 2017 (22.1 points a game).
This season, they ranked tenth in scoring with 25.9 points/game.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was complimentary of Sarkisian after announcing he was letting him go.
“Sark has shown he’s a good coach and play caller. After evaluating the entire season, I decided it was necessary that we had a new voice and direction for our offensive unit.”
Sarkisian’s only other experience in the NFL came back in 2004 when he served as the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach. His only other experience as an offensive coordinator was back in 2007-08 for the USC Trojans.