Steve Sarkisian attempting to create his own Nick Saban coaching rehab clinic at Texas

Steve Sarkisian, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Steve Sarkisian, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Steve Sarkisian is looking to bring some Nick Saban Alabama with him to Texas in the form of former Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst.

The Nick Saban coaching rehabilitation clinic has opened up shop in Austin as part of Steve Sarkisian’s Texas program.

Sarkisian has hired former Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst as an analyst ahead of the 2023 college season. Both men are former college quarterbacks with ample coaching experience. It may have ended poorly for Chryst at his alma mater, but good for him getting himself back out there. As for Sarkisian, I absolutely love this for him and the Texas program. Here is why this is a fantastic idea.

It has everything to do with Chryst paying close attention to details that Sarkisian might overlook.

Steve Sarkisian goes full-blown Nick Saban by hiring Paul Chryst onto Texas staff

As any unbiased college football observer should feel about the situation, we are all pulling for Sarkisian. The way it ended for him at USC was so beyond embarrassing. Over the better part of the last decade, Sarkisian has completely reinvented himself as a brilliant offensive mind, first with the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Atlanta Falcons before eventually taking over at Texas.

We know he can recruit and we think he can assemble a strong staff. The biggest issue Sarkisian faces at this point of his coaching career is if he can be an elite head coach. He has shown that he can keep traditional powers like Washington, USC and Texas hovering around the top 25, but regular occurrences of 8-4 won’t cut it in Austin for long. The Longhorns are also moving soon…

By having a proven head coach who has won previously at Wisconsin and Pitt coming aboard in Chryst, Sarkisian can delegate some things he otherwise wouldn’t feel comfortable with and focus on being the face of an improving program. Texas might be the favorite to win the Big 12 in its final season in the league, but even meeting reasonable expectations have not been their thing of late.

So why do I love Chryst coming down to Austin to work with Sarkisian so much? It has everything to do with what they can hope to learn from each other over the next year or so. Chryst lost his job at Wisconsin because the Badgers’ passing offense became archaic. Sarkisian is cutting-edge in that department. While getting to 10 wins has been hard for Sarkisian, Chryst did that regularly.

Although the Big Ten West is not the Big 12, and it sure as hell isn’t the SEC, Chryst did have a recipe for success in Madison by getting to Indianapolis and never beating the Big Ten East winner. Factor in Wisconsin not having anywhere near the talent in-state as Texas does, Sarkisian can definitely learn a thing or two about getting the most out of his players. This ruined Mack Brown…

Ultimately, Chryst’s role on the Longhorns staff may not be as important as we think it is. Then again, didn’t having long-time TCU head coach Gary Patterson on staff last year in a similar role help the Longhorns get out of their own way and get back to playing competent football? TCU did win more with Sonny Dykes last season, but Patterson brought an end to all the monkey business.

Clearly, Saban’s coaching rehabilitation process works, so good for Sarkisian in at least adopting it.

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