Former Riders quarterback Steve Sarkisian hired as University of Texas head coach

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The University of Texas has named Steve Sarkisian, currently offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide, head coach of the Longhorn football team.

Sarkisian played for Brigham Young University before a pro career north of the border. He was a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders for three seasons (1997-199).

As a rookie, Sarkisian dressed for three games and moved up to the backup role behind Reggie Slack one year later. He earned the starting role the next season, the Riders were the worst team in the league with a 3-15 record.

During his time in Saskatchewan, Sarkisian completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards with 18 touchdowns but 25 interceptions. He rushed 45 times for 201 yards and one touchdown, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

Following the 1999 season, Sarkisian retired from playing and went into coaching. He’s been the head coach at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California, compiling a 46-35 win-loss record while going 2-2 in bowl games.

The 46-year-old Sarkisian has a long offensive resume in both NCAA Division I football and the NFL. He also brings to the Longhorn football program extensive experience coaching in conference and national championship games and developing top talent, including three Heisman Trophy finalists.

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“On Jan. 4, 2006, I was the USC quarterback coach when we played Texas in that famed national championship game. There has always been something special about Longhorn football, its history and traditions – not just on that day – and I could never have imagined that 15 years later, I would join the Longhorns as their head coach,” Sarkisian said in a statement.

“This is a unique and compelling opportunity to lead this storied program to the next level, competing once again amongst the best in college football.”

Sarkisian was recently named the Broyles Award winner, given to the top college football assistant coach. He has helped lead the Crimson Tide to an undefeated 12-0 record and compete for the College Football Playoff national championship.

Prior to joining Alabama in 2019, Sarkisian spent two years as offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons.