Yesterday, A report surfaced that former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian had turned down the offensive coordinator job on Kliff Kingsbury’s staff with the Cardinals and that he was heading to Alabama to rejoin Nick Saban’s staff.
Sark had previously worked on the Tide staff as an analyst before being promoted to offensive coordinator for the Tide’s national title game vs. Clemson following the departure of Lane Kiffin for the FAU job. While the Tide scored 31 points in Sarkisian’s Crimson Tide offensive coordinator debut, they wound up losing to Clemson 35-31 and Sark left for the offensive coordinator job with the Atlanta Falcons shortly thereafter.
As it sits right now, Saban is looking to fill a number of offensive positions, as the Tide have lost their offensive coordinator (Mike Locksley to Maryland), quarterbacks coach and offensive-coordinator-to-be (Dan Enos to Miami), offensive line coach (Brent Key to Georgia Tech), and wide receivers coach (Josh Gattis to Michigan).
According to a report, Sark isn’t the only prominent coach that Nick Saban has targeted to fill those vacancies on his offensive staff. In fact, he’s got his eyes on a coordinator of a fellow College Football Playoff participant.
According to AL.com, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long was also in Tuscaloosa over the weekend, and the report adds that Long “could join the staff in some capacity even if / when Sarkisian is hired as offensive coordinator.”
Long’s high powered consistency on offense with the Irish helped Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season before falling to Clemson in the College Football Playoff. Prior to arriving in South Bend, Long spent a season as the offensive coordinator at Memphis, and before that coached the right ends at Arizona Stat and Illinois. His coaching career started in graduate assistant roles at Louisville and Arkansas from 2006-09.
You knew that Saban would pull no punches in trying to land the best guys for his open positions to help the Tide get back on top, but getting another coordinator from a College Football Playoff program on campus for a role on staff that may not even include play calling duties, and then landing him, would certainly be interesting.
You know folks in South Bend won’t be happy if Long, who is 35, leaves for a lateral move, and if he’s willing to shed the coordinator role with the Irish for an opportunity to work for the Saban and the Tide…well, that would be something.
Head here to read the full piece from AL.com.
Also complicating things is that we hear Chip’s buyout is substantial and that, along with other staffing plans Nick has, might be too much to overcome with regards to bringing him in if not for the offensive coordinator role.
Back in December we shared that Butch Jones, who is currently in an analyst role with the Tide, has been offered the assistant head coach offense role with Mike Locksley at Maryland, but noted that it was not a done deal and that Saban would like to keep him if an on field position was available. A lot of moving parts in Tuscaloosa right now….and there will be ripples elsewhere.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Update> Tim Prister, senior editor of Irish Illustrated, reports this morning Chip Long will not be going to Alabama.
We are confirming that he is not going to Alabama. That is all we can confirm at this moment. https://t.co/bgiyBiFRmX
— Irish Illustrated (@timprister) January 13, 2019