Sarkisian Selected to Sub for Saban
This weekend when No. 2 Alabama hosts No. 3 Georgia the Crimson Tide will likely have a new head coach. The current head coach, Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week so the program is having to make adjustments. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has been tabbed to handle Saban's in office duties and will likely serve as the Alabama head coach this weekend.
"Obviously Sark's been a head coach before, and I'm not sure exactly how this is going to play out in terms of when the game comes, whether I can have communication with people or not," said Saban in his Wednesday press conference.
The NCAA has rules in place that prohibit Saban from communicating with the team on gameday virtually, therefore the gameday decisions will likely fall under Sarkisian. As Saban pointed out in his press conference, Sarkisian has had plenty of prior experience serving in the head coaching role.
The offensive coach was in charge at Washington for five years and USC for two seasons prior to joining the Crimson Tide as an offensive analyst in 2016.
Sarkisian took over a Washington Husky program that had not won a single game the year prior to his hire. Sarkisian won five games in his first season at the helm and then led the Huskies to four straight bowl games before being hired at USC to replace Lane Kiffin.
While at USC Sarkisian mustered up a 12-6 record over a season and a half. He led the Trojans to a Holiday Bowl and a division runner up season in his first year. Sarkisian endured off the field struggles, leading him to leave the Trojans and coaching for a year.
Sarkisian's career record is 46-35, impressive for a coach who took over a winless program in his first head coaching job. He was reportedly offered the Colorado head coaching job this past offseason but decided to stay with the Crimson Tide this season as offensive coordinator.
This is not the first time Sarkisian has been called on to fill a role of need, in 2017 he was promoted to offensive coordinator for the national championship game after Kiffin and Saban parted ways.