Report: Alabama to hire Bill O’Brien as OC

Report: Alabama to hire Bill O’Brien as OC

Bill O’Brien, fired as head coach and general manager of the Houston Texans in October, apparently landed an impressive new gig.

Reigning national champion Alabama was finalizing a deal to make O’Brien the offensive coordinator on head coach Nick Saban’s staff, ESPN reported Wednesday night.

O’Brien would replace Steve Sarkisian, who exited Tuscaloosa to become the head coach at Texas. O’Brien would take over an offense that manhandled Ohio State on Monday as the Crimson Tide won 52-24 in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Miami Gardens, Fla.

Alabama finished second in the nation in scoring at 48.5 points per game, fourth in total offense with an average of 541.6 yards per game, and third in passing offense at 358.2 yards per game.

However, Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith, quarterback Mac Jones and running back Najee Harris are projected to be first-round NFL draft picks.

O’Brien was successful for most of his run as the Texans’ head coach, which started in 2014. He produced five winning seasons and four playoff appearances in his first six seasons, compiling a 52-44 record in that span.

He added general manager duties in January 2020, and he came under fire two months later when he dealt All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. Critics blasted the Texans’ return in the deal as being far too little.

Prior to his time in Houston, O’Brien was the head coach at Penn State in 2012 and 2013, producing a 15-9 record with the team serving a bowl ban tied to the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse scandal.

O’Brien was an assistant coach with the New England Patriots from 2007-11, serving as offensive coordinator in his final season there. He earlier had stints as an assistant coach for Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke.

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