Steve Sarkisian reflects on what he learned coaching for Nick Saban
Steve Sarkisian is more confident than ever as a college football head coach after working on Nick Saban’s staff.
“What I learned for myself was to get the trust and stamp of approval from him was almost like the last piece of the puzzle for me,” Sarkisian recently told Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports. “He entrusted me to call the game very aggressively. He entrusted me to put our players in a place to be successful. Ultimately, he entrusted [the team] to me when he couldn’t be there. I could be the head football coach for a game.”
Dodd’s article on Sarkisian is part of a CBS Sports series on Saban’s “coaching rehab.” The article details how Sark landed in Tuscaloosa twice after his exits from USC and Atlanta.
Sarkisian considers the “Saban rehab” experience as the finishing touches on his resume to get another head coaching job.
“I didn’t know enough of the ‘whys,'” Sarkisian told Dodd. “I knew what Coach Saban was doing. I knew how he did it. I didn’t know why he did what he did. I just said, ‘I have a chance to go back to Alabama to get the finishing touches on my career, which is to be a head coach again.’
“I went back.”
In addition to learning from college football’s top coach, Sarkisian also got to know Saban well on a personal level.
“I got to know him beyond the straw hat, beyond the polo on the sidelines, beyond the press conferences,” Sarkisian told Dodd. “He’s an amazing man. He’s probably one of the more compassionate human beings I’ve ever been associated with. This is not something most people describe him as.”
The full article, detailing how Sark and Saban first met in 2009, can be read here.