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Report: Nick Saban announces hire of Steve Sarkisian to Alabama as an offensive analyst

Former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian reacts to a loss against Washington at home in 2015: Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

A reunion of two former Southern California coaches will happen at Alabama.

Head coach Nick Saban confirmed all reports of Steve Sarkisian being hired onto his staff, during his presser on Monday. Sarkisian, 42, spent a year in rehab, after being terminated from USC in 2015 for a number of intoxicated incidents. He now joins Alabama’s coaching staff as an offensive analyst.

“We’re glad to have him as a part of the organization and hopefully he’ll be able to get back on his feet professionally,” Saban said in his opening statement on Sarkisian.

Sarkisian had five winning seasons as a head coach at Washington and USC, but his best work came as an offensive coordinator for the Trojans in seven years (2001-03, 2005-06, 2007-08).

He prepared Carson PalmerMatt Leinart, Mark Sanchez and Cody Kessler for the National Football League, while coaching Palmer to a Heisman Trophy in the 2002 season.

Ex-USC standouts Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith, Damian Williams and Nelson Agholor all excelled at the wide receiver position under Sarkisian. He mentored JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2014, witnessing him account for 724 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 54 catches.

Sarkisian was on Pete Carroll’s staff for two Associated Press national titles in 2003-04.

Part of Saban’s evolution as a coach is hiring and mentoring others to be great. He hired Lane Kiffin in January of 2014; a move that resulted in two conference championships, a Heisman winner (Derrick Henry), two trips to the College Football Playoff and a national championship. Sarkisian is one of the better recruiters in college football and like Kiffin, he can now learn under Saban.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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