Steve Sarkisian knows he has Nick Saban to thank for his incredible opportunity as head coach of the Texas Longhorns.
After being fired from his job as head coach of the USC Trojans in 2015 due to alcoholism, Saban took a chance on Sark — making him the offensive coordinator in 2017 before Sarkisian took the same position with the Atlanta Falcons.
To this day, Sarkisian thinks it was Saban who opened up a wave of opportunities for him.
“I’ve said this numerous times, but I would not be the head coach at Texas if it weren’t for Nick Saban,” Sarkisian told ESPN. “He gave me a chance when I had a hard time getting an interview, never mind a job. There were days that I thought, ‘Man, I’m never going to be a head coach again. I’m never going to be an offensive coordinator again. I’m never going to get another job.’
“But Coach Saban took a chance on me when I needed somebody to believe in me again,” he continued.
The Longhorns head coach would go on to say that Saban “saved his career” following the disastrous stint with USC.
Now, Sarkisian is tasked with bringing prowess back to the Texas program, and he would go a long way in doing so if he were able to defeat the Saban’s mighty Alabama squad on Saturday.
Even though Saban recognized that Sark had some baggage when he brought him aboard in 2016, Saban refutes the notion that he revitalized a dormant career.
“Sark is the one who did the work,” Saban told ESPN. “We supported him and made sure there were the right resources and people in place to help him, as we have with many others. But, listen, he saved his own career by doing a great job for us and rehabbing himself professionally, and I’m not just talking about personally, but professionally in a really, really positive way that impacted our program greatly and helped us be successful here.”
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