UT names Steve Sarkisian as the new head football coach

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Sunday, January 3, 2021
No Layups: UT fires head coach Tom Herman
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ABC13's David Nuno and Raheel Ramzanali analyze the firing decision and break down what might be next for the Longhorns.

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Longhorns have named Steve Sarkisian, currently the offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide, as their new head football coach for the 2021-2022 season.

This comes after the university fired Tom Herman Saturday after four seasons.

Sarkisian expressed his excitement in a tweet early Sunday morning.

Sarkisian has a strong track record as both an offensive coordinator and head coach in both Division I college football and the NFL, according to a statement from the university. He also has extensive experience coaching in conference and national championship games and developing top talent, including three Heisman Trophy finalists.

"Steve Sarkisian is one of the top offensive minds in the game of football, which he has proved over and over during his time with USC, Atlanta, and most recently, Alabama," athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. "We are confident our players and coaches will thrive under his leadership and in response to his energy and passion for the game."

Prior to joining Alabama in 2019, Sarkisian spent two years as offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons, four years as an assistant and two as head coach at the University of Southern California, and five years as head coach at the University of Washington. His head coaching record is 46-35 overall and 2-2 in bowl games.

As for Herman, the outgoing coach will be owed approximately $15 million, according to terms of his contract with the university.

"Decisions like this are very, very difficult and certainly not something I take lightly," Del Conte said. "As I've said before, my philosophy is to wait until the end of the season to look at all of the factors in evaluating any of our programs. After much deliberation and a great deal of thought, as I looked back at the totality of where our football program is and in discussing its future, it became apparent that it was in the best interest of The University of Texas to move in a different direction."

University president Jay Hartzell Kevin Eltife, the chair of the UT Board of Regents, agreed with Del Conte's recommendation and approved the change, according to a statement from the university.

The Longhorns went 32-18 in four seasons under Herman, including seven losses as a ranked team to unranked teams -- tied for most in FBS since 2017.

"I'm grateful for all Coach Herman has done and the hard work and dedication he and his staff have put in on behalf of our program and student-athletes," Del Conte said in his statement. "I thank him for all of his efforts and his service to our institution, and I wish him the best in the future.

FROM 2016: Longhorns bring in Houston's Tom Herman as next head coach