Alabama hires Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator

Alabama's Nick Saban is once again turning to an ex-USC head coach to run his offense.

Saban announced on Friday that Steve Sarkisian will serve as the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He'll replace the outgoing OC, Lane Kiffin, who was hired as Florida Atlantic's head coach earlier this week.

Sarkisian had served as an analyst for Alabama this season after being fired by USC at midseason in 2015.

Kiffin, who also joined Saban's staff after being fired as USC head coach (in 2013), will remain with Alabama through the College Football Playoff. The Tide will play Washington in a Peach Bowl playoff semifinal on Dec. 31.

"We are pleased to be able to hire an offensive coordinator with the pedigree and experience of Steve Sarkisian," Saban stated in a release. "He has a tremendous offensive mind and is someone we believe will do a great job of teaching and developing our football team on the offensive side of the ball. He has been a great asset to our coaching staff this season and brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to his job. Steve will be a phenomenal addition to our coaching staff and someone who can seamlessly transition into the job with a full understanding of how our organization works."

Sarkisian was fired by then-USC athletic director Pat Haden after reportedly arriving for team meetings while intoxicated. He checked into rehab shortly after being dismissed. Sarkisian later filed a lawsuit against USC, alleging he was discriminated against because of a disability.

Prior to taking the USC job, Sarkisian led Washington to a 34-29 record as head coach from 2009-13.

Alabama will have its leading passer (Jalen Hurts, a true freshman) and leading rusher (Damien Harris, sophomore) returning in 2017, as well as star WR Calvin Ridley (a sophomore). WR ArDarius Stewart, a redshirt junior, has not announced his intentions for 2017, but even if he decides to apply for early draft eligiblity, Sarkisian will inherit a young offense loaded with potential. Making an in-house hire to replace Kiffin should provide some welcome offensive stability for those players.

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