Who Could Replace Sarkisian as Offensive Coordinator?
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian has officially accepted the head coaching job at the University of Texas. While he will wait until after next week's national championship game to depart for Austin, the Crimson Tide faithful looks ahead to consider who will take the reigns of the Alabama offense.
Bill O'Brien was reportedly in Tuscaloosa over the weekend, O'Brien is a free agent after being fired by the Houston Texans after four games this year. O'Brien has been an offensive coordinator and a head coach at both the college and the NFL level. His last stint in college was as head coach at Penn State.
Could O'Brien replace Sarkisian? It's possible, though also equally possible that he is enrolling in Saban's coaching rehab program as an offensive analyst.
Charles Huff is currently the Crimson Tide's associate head coach and running backs coach. Huff has been a fast-rising star in the coaching world and is known as an excellent recruiter, in fact he is 247Sports No. 1 recruiter in the nation for the 2021 cycle.
Could Coach Saban promote Huff in order to keep him from going with Sarikisian to Texas? Huff has not called plays in his career but has experience as a special teams coordinator and running game coordinator at several schools including Penn State and Mississippi State.
Adam Gase was fired as New York Jets head coach over the weekend and has extensive experience calling plays at the professional level. Gase worked for Saban at the onset of his career at Michigan State and at LSU. If Saban is looking to bring in a coach from the NFL that he is familiar with, look no further than Gase. His NFL head coaching record is a putrid 32-48 but he was saddled with lesser talent with both the Dolphins and the Jets.
Tom Herman was just fired by Texas to make room for Steve Sarkisian and his extensive experience at the college level makes him an ideal candidate for Alabama. Herman has been an NCAA offensive coordinator or head coach for the last 15 years. The last time Saban went head-to-head with a Herman led offense, the Tide lost to Ohio State in the 2014 CFP Semifinals.
Phil Longo is the current offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He has a long history of running offenses at the collegiate level. Longo has run a modified air-raid offense that runs the ball more heavily than a traditional air-raid offense. Most notable to Alabama fans, Longo was in charge of the Ole Miss Rebels offense in 2017 and 2018, Alabama held his offenses to just 3 and 7 points in consecutive years.
Joe Brady is currently the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and previously was the passing game coordinator for the LSU Tigers in their 2019 national championship season. Brady is only 31-years old but his route-trees and offensive schemes drove the Tigers to a historic offensive season that included a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback as well as a national championship. Could Saban lure him away from the NFL game to return to college football?
Mike Shula is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Denver Broncos. He has spent all his time in the NFL as quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator after being fired by Alabama to make way for Nick Saban. Shula played quarterback for Alabama from 1984-86 and served as head coach during a time of probation from 2003-06.
Tony Elliot is currently the offensive coordinator for the Clemson Tigers. If Saban wants to replace Sarikisian while also weakening one of his biggest competitors, Elliot could provide the answer. Elliot has spent the entirety of his coaching career in South Carolina at South Carolina State, Furman and Clemson. He won the Broyles award in 2017 and has been offensive coordinator for both of Clemson's recent national championships.
2021 Alabama Crimson Tide Recruiting Class Signees