Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tuesday it is a “continuing process” to find a replacement for attack coordinator Steve Sarkissian, who was named head coach of Texas a week ago.
Saban has targeted former Houston Texas art director Bill O’Brien and he is considered a leading candidate for the vacant position, sources reported ESPN’s Chris Low.
The sources said that Saban was planning to speak with several candidates about the job.
“I can’t make any predictions about our crew,” Saban told reporters on Tuesday, the next morning after Alabama defeated Ohio State to win the National Football League. “I think we have a great staff. I love the harmony of our team. We are happy for you. I don’t know what other opportunities are there for our coaches. We just have to wait and see. I can’t answer that.”
“It is an ongoing process for us to find the right attack coordinator. We are definitely in the process of doing that.”
If Saban were to attend O’Brien as a replacement for Sarkissian, it would represent the second time Saban is looking for an offensive coordinator who previously worked with an old friend and New England Patriots trainer Bill Belishek. The most recent was former Patriots coach Brian Dabol in 2017.
O’Brien was an assistant on the Beliische Patriots team from 2007 to 2011 before taking up the position as head coach in Pennsylvania, helping rebuild the program after the Jerry Sandusky scandal and subsequent NCAA penalties.
O’Brien went 15-9 in two seasons in Pennsylvania before being hired as head coach of Team Texas. He was promoted to General Manager before the 2020 season but was fired after a 0-4 start.
O’Brien was on campus last week and spent some time around the program as Alabama prepared for the National Championship match.
Whoever replaces Sarkissian will have a high standard to elevate.
In two seasons, Sarkissian oversaw an attack averaging 47.8 points and 526.6 yards per game.
ESPN’s Chris Low contributed to writing this story.
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