On Sunday, Alabama coach Nick Saban met with offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin not to celebrate Saturday’s win over No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl or to discuss preparation for the Clemson Tigers. Instead the two decided Kiffin would not finish Alabama’s title run with the team and would be replaced by next year’s offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian a few weeks early.
“We recognize that this is a very difficult circumstance in terms of the sort of distractions that you have,” Saban said. “I’ve been through it myself when I was at the Cleveland Browns taking the Michigan State job.”
He said the decision to part ways now was in the best interest of both parties.
“It became apparent that both programs would be better served by me giving all my time and efforts to being the head coach at FAU,” Kiffin said in a release from UA. “This was a very difficult decision, but it’s a decision made in the best interests of the program. I look forward to helping Alabama win another championship, and would like to thank Coach Saban, the staff, and all the players and fans for the past three years at UA for an unforgettable time and championship run. Roll Tide!”
Saban said the change in coordinators should not result in a noticeable difference in the offensive game plan, and added that Sarkisian’s preparation for Clemson is more important than any game day responsibilities he will have.
“We have full confidence that Sark will step in right away and make this a smooth transition,” Saban said in a release from UA.
Alabama’s offense will now have roughly a week to prepare for a Tiger defense that shutout Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal matchup.
“Well they have a lot of good players on both sides of the ball, they had a lot last year and they have a lot of the same players.” Saban said. “It obviously starts with the quarterback [Deshaun Watson] who I think might be the best player in college football right now.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports