Alabama names ex-USC coach Sarkisian offensive coordinator
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama has hired another former Southern California head coach as offensive coordinator, turning to Steve Sarkisian to once again replace Lane Kiffin.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced the move Friday, with Kiffin having been hired to take over the Florida Atlantic program. Sarkisian, who succeeded Kiffin with the Trojans, will also coach the quarterbacks.
''He's got a great track record and has done a really, really good job wherever he's been,'' Saban said. ''He's got a history of developing quarterbacks as well as being a very good play caller and a well-organized, good designer of offense.
''He's been here with us all fall and done a really good job. That makes the transition a lot easier.''
Kiffin will run the offense through the playoffs. The top-ranked Tide meets Washington Dec. 31 in the Peach Bowl semifinals game.
Sarkisian, who also is a former Washington head coach, was an offensive analyst for Alabama this season.
''I have always admired the Alabama program from afar and getting to be part of this football team these past few months has only reinforced my belief that this is the best college football organization in the country,'' he said.
USC fired Sarkisian in October 2015 after athletic director Pat Haden said he showed up in school in no condition to lead practice following an embarrassing public display earlier at a pep rally where he appeared to be intoxicated while giving a speech. He later sought treatment for alcoholism and sued USC alleging the school breached his contract and discriminated against him on the basis of a disability.
''I wouldn't have anybody in this organization I didn't have total trust, faith and confidence in that they would do a good job with our players,'' Saban said. ''This guy's part of our family now. We're going to support him and help him be successful any way we can. That's in his life as well as as a coach.''
Sarkisian was Washington's head coach from 2009-13. He went 12-6 at USC and 34-29 at Washington, which had won just 12 games during the previous five seasons before his arrival.
He was also offensive coordinator at USC in 2007-08.
NOTE: Saban said backup defensive lineman Dakota Ball missed the first bowl practice after a hunting accident, when he shot one of his fingers. Defensive back Tony Brown missed practice with a pulled muscle. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who missed the SEC championship game with a leg injury, practiced.
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