Steve Sarkisian (Photo by John Garcia, Jr.)

Atlanta Falcons announce hiring Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

Alabama’s Nick Saban will have third new offensive coordinator in short order

Steve Sarkisian’s tenure as Alabama offensive coordinator is just one game, the Crimson Tide’s loss to Clemson in this year’s College Football Playoff national championship. It was announced today that Sarkisian going to the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator.

Sarkisian was named Alabama offensive coordinator for the 2018 season when Lane Kiffin, who had held the position with the Crimson Tide since the start of the 2014 season, was named head coach at Florida Atlantic University.

Following a poor offensive performance by Bama in the CFP semifinal game against Washington, Alabama Coach Nick Saban moved up the timetable, Kiffin heading on to his new job at FAU and Sarkisian, who had been an offensive analyst for the Tide, elevated to Bama offensive coordinator just a week before the national title game.

Since then, two assistant offensive coaches on the Alabama staff left for offensive coordinator jobs at other schools, Mario Cristobal going to Oregon and Billy Napier heading to Arizona State.

Alabama’s third offensive coordinator in a month could be Mike Locksley. Locksley, like Sarkisian, a former head coach and offensive coordinator in college, had also been serving as an offensive analyst at Bama, but was elevated to assistant coach with no duties specified.

It is also quite possible Saban brings in someone else as offensive coordinator. Alabama now has two fulltime positions open and could add a third if the NCAA approves a proposal giving schools a 10th fulltime assistant coach.

Atlanta is coming off an overtime loss to New England in the Super Bowl, a loss that almost everyone blamed on the Falcons coaching staff, particularly the offensive staff, and specifically offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Incredibly to many, Shanahan was named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers the day after the Falcons’ loss.


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