Alabama is finalizing a deal with former Houston Texas coach Bill O’Brien to be the coordinator of the upcoming Crimson Tide attack, sources told ESPN.
O’Brien was at the Alabama Football Complex Wednesday. He also spent some time with the team last week before the National Football League match.
Saban was asked about O’Brien on Wednesday during a press conference at Zoom ahead of the announcement of the Bear Bryant Award for Coach of the Year, which Saban won later on Wednesday night.
Saban praised O’Brien as a great coach, and although Saban has not officially announced O’Brien as the new attack coordinator in Alabama, he said O’Brien “will do a great job with our players here.”
Saban added, “I’ve always tried to get the best possible knowledge and experience for our players and their development, and I definitely believe [O’Brien] You can contribute to this in a very positive way. “
O’Brien, who also served as the general manager of Texas last year, was sent off for four games in the 2020 season. This is after he led the Texans to playoff matches in four of their first six seasons in Houston.
O’Brien, 51, replaces Steve Sarkissian, who left Alabama to take on the coaching job in Texas.
While his most recent coaching experience has been in the NFL, O’Brien also has a long history of coaching in college. He was the Technical Director of Pennsylvania in 2012-2013, helping rebuild the program after the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the NCAA sanctions that followed. O’Brien was the coordinator of the Duke attack in 2005-06 and coordinator of the Georgia Tech offensive in 2001-02.
Similar to Saban, O’Brien also has strong ties to Bill Belishek and trained under Bilesik with the New England Patriots for five seasons from 2007 to 11, the last season as the Patriots Attack Coordinator.
O’Brien will be the seventh different attacking coordinator for Saban, returning to Jim McLwin, who left after the 2011 season to take over as Colorado state president.
Sources confirmed to ESPN that Saban also has an offensive line position to fill his crew, with Kyle Flood going with Sarkissian to Texas to be the Longhorns offensive coordinator / offensive line coach.