Steve Sarkisian joins Lane Kiffin, Billy Napier and Mario Cristobal as the fourth Nick Saban assistant to head elsewhere. The offensive analyst turned coordinator has finalized a deal to be the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, according to Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post.
Source confirms that Steve Sarkisian is all but certain to be named the #Falcons next offensive coordinator. Announcement forthcoming.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) February 7, 2017
NFL insider Ian Rapoport confirmed the rumors as true, as Sarkisian will take over for the departing Kyle Shanahan—who accepted the head coaching position at San Francisco.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 7, 2017
Atlanta’s offense turned in a stellar year under Shanahan, finishing in the top-10 in all major categories.
The trio of quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman guided the team to an NFL-best 33.8 points a game. While Ryan tossed for over 4,000 yards, Jones and Freeman both posted 1,000-yard seasons at their positions.
The Falcons finished the regular season at 11-5, advancing to Super Bowl 51 before falling to the New England Patriots. With Sarkisian, Atlanta gets one of the better offensive minds in college football. During his career at offensive coordinator and head coach for University of Southern California and University of Washington, he mentored six 3,000-yard passers, two Heisman Trophy winners (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart) and five 1,000-yard rushers.
At Alabama, Sarkisian helped the Crimson Tide’s offense total 38.8 points and 455.3 yards per game.
He witnessed true freshman Jalen Hurts accounted for a single-season record 36 touchdowns, 2,780 passing yards and 954 rushing yards, en route to earning SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Offensive Player of the Year.