Report: Ex-Penn State HC Bill O'Brien to join Nick Saban's staff
It appears Nick Saban’s staff is getting another former head coach looking to regain his coaching stock.
According to college football insider Bruce Feldman, Bill O’Brien is in the mix to replace departing Alabama OC, Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian is leaving the Crimson Tide after the National Championship Game to takeover as the head coach at Texas.
Feldman indicated the official announcement of O’Brien’s hiring could be made in the next few days:
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 spent two seasons in Happy Valley, taking over for legendary head coach Joe Paterno in 2012. O’Brien led the Nittany Lions to a 15-9 record in two seasons before landing an NFL head coaching job with the Houston Texans.
After his stint at Penn State, O’Brien led Houston to a 52-48 overall record and four AFC South titles in his first six seasons. Unfortunately, an 0-4 start to the 2020 season and reports of internal issues in the locker room led to O’Brien’s midseason firing.
In all likelihood, the move is simply temporary for O’Brien to rebuild his stock and get another shot as a head coach somewhere. Sarkisian is just the latest example of a former head coach to join Saban’s staff and use that position as a launching pad for a future job.