As Steve Sarkisian took the field for the last time as the Alabama offensive coordinator, a report surfaced naming his likely successor.
According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, Alabama intends to hire former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien to be the team’s new OC. The 51-year-old offensive mastermind is expected to finalize a deal to join Nick Saban’s staff in the next few days.
O’Brien left Houston under disappointing circumstances as the Texans fired him just four games into the 2020 campaign. He never seemed to find his footing in the NFL, as a head coach or as the organization’s general manager. Now, it appears he’ll get another shot at the collegiate level to revive his career.
Feldman reported last week that O’Brien visited Tuscaloosa to discuss the opening, but now it appears that the deal is almost done. The FOX Sports reporter also asked a source how the former Texans head coach would work alongside Saban at Alabama.
“Really well… He worked for Belichick,” the source replied.
As I reported last week Bill O'Brien, the former #Texans and Penn State head coach visited Tuscaloosa about replacing Steve Sarkisian as Alabama’s OC.. I’m hearing that deal is expected to happen in the next few days.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 12, 2021
O’Brien will take over for Sarkisian, who will make the move to Austin to take over the Texas Longhorns. The 46-year-old impressed over his two years in Tuscaloosa and will now get a third opportunity to become a college football head coach. Texas looks to be in desperate need of a resurrection after a decade of underwhelming seasons.
It’s no surprise that Saban could attract one of the biggest names available to join the Crimson Tide. The long-time Alabama head coach likely had his pick of the candidate pool once Sarkisian announced his intention to leave.
O’Brien spent most of his early career at the college level. After a few years with Belichick and the Patriots, he took over Penn State and spent a year with the Nittany Lions in 2012. From there, he made the move back to Houston where he went 54-52 over 6+ seasons.
Feldman’s report emerged as Alabama competed for a title. The College Football Playoff national championship game between the Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes is currently on ESPN.
Maybe O’Brien can get a good look at his future team.