Steve Sarkisian named Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday February 07, 2017

One month after a promotion to Alabama offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian is on the move, joining the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator.

Sarkisian spent one fall as an analyst at Alabama, before his promotion after Lane Kiffin’s departure ahead of the national title game. His career as a full-time assistant at Alabama lasted one game, the national title loss to Clemson.

Sark has one year of NFL experience, as the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach in 2004. Other than that 2004 season, Sarkisian was a USC assistant from 2001-08. He was Washington head coach from 2009-13 and USC head coach from 2014-15, before substance abuse issues led to his dismissal.

There aren’t many direct ties between Sarkisian and Dan Quinn, but both have worked under Pete Carroll. The Falcons were one team Sarkisian visited last summer, when he was set to be an analyst for Fox Sports 1.

Sark visited the Falcons, Buccaneers, Florida and Alabama, among others, and the Bama visit led to a gig.

“I was planning on doing TV this fall,” Sarkisian said before the national title game. “I just had never had an August in my life where I wasn’t at training camp. So I visited a few places in August and looked at things and wanted to see how other people did things. One of my stops was Alabama. I had a great visit with Lane and Coach Saban. The talks were in play after that. When the job opportunity came, I felt like this would be a good spot to learn different things.”

Sarkisian was a natural fit to replace Kiffin, and that possibility was one reason he took the Alabama analyst job. Quinn knew for weeks he would need a new offensive coordinator, when Kyle Shanahan accepted the 49ers head coaching job. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Quinn and Sarkisian talked earlier this winter.

This is a huge move. There are now two openings on the Alabama staff, and it could affect multiple teams across the country.

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to