Alabama hired former Houston Texans coach and general manager Bill O’Brien as its offensive coordinator Thursday night.
O’Brien will follow in the footsteps of Steve Sarkisian, who left his job as Crimson Tide offensive coordinator to become head coach of the Texas Longhorns.
The hiring marks the second ex-NFL head coach to join Nick Saban’s staff this offseason. Doug Marrone agreed to become offensive line coach after spending four-plus seasons in charge of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In six-plus years with the Texans, O’Brien posted a 52-48 record and won four AFC South division titles. Before that, he served as Penn State’s head coach for two years, going 15-9 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten.
This will be O’Brien’s first job as a college offensive coordinator since 2005-06 with Duke. His performance there helped him land a job with the New England Patriots, where he called plays for three seasons and worked closely with Tom Brady and the rest of the team’s quarterbacks.
“We are pleased and happy to be able to add Bill O’Brien to our coaching staff,” Saban said in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience as both an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL and college. Bill is one of the brightest offensive minds in football, an outstanding teacher and excellent recruiter. He will strengthen our coaching staff and give our players the best possible chance to be successful.”
O’Brien added in a statement, “I am honored and excited to join Coach Saban’s staff at The University of Alabama. I have an incredible amount of admiration for the rich football tradition at this University and the success Coach Saban has had during his time in Tuscaloosa. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with some of the best football players in the country, while helping to continue the success this program has enjoyed for many years.”