Former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will return to Alabama instead of joining the Arizona Cardinals’ staff, according to an ESPN report Saturday evening.
The network reported Friday that the Cardinals were closing in on a deal to sign Sarkisian to be their coordinator, but NFL Network reported Saturday that he was unlikely to join Arizona. Per ESPN, Arizona offered Sarkisian the job, but he chose to rejoin Nick Saban’s staff.
The Crimson Tide needed an offensive coordinator after Dan Enos left to join Miami. Sarkisian served as an offensive analyst, and briefly as offensive coordinator, for Saban during the 2016 season before joining the Falcons.
Sarkisian, 44, was fired after two years in Atlanta that did not live up to the heights of the team’s 2016 offense. The group finished 10th in points and sixth in yards in the NFL this year after ranking 15th and eighth, respectively, in 2017.
Before his first stint at Alabama, Sarkisian served as USC head coach from 2014-15. Previously he was head coach for the Washington Huskies from 2009-13 and worked two stints as an assistant at USC from 2001-03 and 2005-08.
The Cardinals will continue their search for an offensive coordinator for new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is expected to call plays and run his own offense but said he would like to hire someone with NFL experience.
Arizona has also interviewed former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo for the opening.
McAdoo, 41, spent last year out of football after being fired by New York, but he had a strong two-year run as the Giants offensive coordinator in 2014-15 before his promotion.
Arizona has finalized its other coordinator spots, with Vance Joseph signing on to run the defense and Jeff Rodgers staying in his position as special-teams coordinator.