Texas football: Steve Sarkisian eying former Texas players, coaches for his staff

Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian. (USA Today)
Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian. (USA Today) /

Steve Sarkisian is targeting some prominent former Texas football players and coaches to join his staff.

Less than 24 hours after his Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was named the new head coach for the Texas Longhorns. This announcement came simultaneously with the news of Tom Herman’s firing in Austin. Sarkisian’s hiring doesn’t come as a shock, since he’s a coordinator under Nick Saban who just won the Broyles Award as the best assistant coach in college football. Now, Sarkisian is looking at some coaches with Texas football ties to join his staff.

According to FootballScoop, Sarkisian has a variety of big names in mind for his coaching staff. Those include Will Muschamp, Kyle Flood, Kevin Steele and Blake Gideon who made 52 starts at safety for the Longhorns from 2008-2011.

Some huge names linked to Texas with Sarkisian in the fold

Muschamp is arguably the biggest name of the bunch, who served as the defensive coordinator of the Longhorns from 2008-2010. Muschamp most recently worked as the head coach of South Carolina from 2016 up until his firing this past November. Sources told FootballScoop that Muschamp was expected to “be in the mix” for the defensive coordinator gig.

Steele was in the head coaching mix after Auburn fired head coach Gus Malzahn. There was a push among top Auburn sponsors for Steele to replace him, but the university opted to hire Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin for the gig. Additionally, Steele reportedly won’t be part of Harsin’s staff.

Other defensive names reportedly linked to Texas include Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Zach Arnett.

Flood, the former head coach of Rutgers from 2012-2015, is a name linked to the offensive coordinator gig. He’s had a working relationship with Sarkisian for the past four years. Flood spent two seasons (2017-18) with the Atlanta Falcons as an assistant offensive line coach and the past two years with Alabama as the offensive line coach, both in which Sarkisian served as offensive coordinator. In fact, people close to Sarkisian told FootballScoop that he “likes [Flood] a lot.”

In terms of former players returning to their alma mater, Gideon is one of them. The former safety rose up the coaching ranks following his playing career, which included two special teams coordinator stints with Houston (2019) and Ole Miss (2020). FootballScoop reports that there is mutual interest between Gideon and Sarkisian about linking up in Austin.

Chris Rumph, current outside linebackers coach for the Houston Texans, is a name to keep an eye on as well. Rumph previously served as an assistant head coach for Texas’ defense and defensive line in 2014.

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