Nick Saban announces Alabama's acting coach in his absence for Auburn game
Steve Sarkisian is once again stepping into the acting coach role for Alabama. Nick Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19, shared the news on Wednesday’s SEC media teleconference.
“Sark will oversee things in the building in my absence,” Saban said.
As Alabama found out ahead of the Georgia game, Saban will not have communication with the sideline during Saturday’s Iron Bowl game against Auburn.
“As it is right now, you can have no communication with the sideline, as I understand it,” Saban told reporters.
“He has experience as a head coach. He will call the plays,” Saban said of Sarkisian. “We discussed this before during UGA week…”
Saban says that Sarkisian being in charge won’t lead to any major changes this week.
“We won’t change anything other than some of the administrative, game-day decisions he’ll have to be involved in.”
Sarkisian has six-plus seasons of experience as a head coach at Washington and USC. As Washington’s head coach from 2009-13, he went 34-29 before leaving to take the USC job. With the Trojans, Sarkisian went 9-4 in 2014, his first season. USC was 3-2 in 2015 before Sarkisian went on a leave of absence to address his battle with alcoholism. He was later let go by Southern Cal.
Sarkisian first joined Saban’s staff in 2016 as an analyst. That postseason, Sarkisian stepped in for Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator in the national championship game against Clemson. Sarkisian left to become the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator in 2017. He was fired from Atlanta on Dec. 31, 2018, and returned to Alabama in January 2019 to be Saban’s offensive coordinator.