Steve Sarkisian was introduced as the next Texas football head coach on Tuesday afternoon.
Texas football fans have had to endure a decade-plus full of heartache and dysfunction from the Longhorns. Not since losing the national title back in the 2009 college season has Texas been one of the better teams in the country. By hiring away the offensive coordinator for the national championship Alabama Crimson Tide in Sarkisian, Texas hopes to change its fortunes fast.
"It's time to go to work, this work will be all gas and no brakes … HOOK'EM!"
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 12, 2021
Highlights from Steve Sarkisian’s introductory press conference at Texas3. It will be “all gas and no brakes” when it comes to putting in the work to turn Texas around.
The latter part of the Mack Brown era and the entirety of the Charlie Strong and Tom Herman eras in Austin have not been up to Texas’ lofty standard as a football program. While Sarkisian has held a blue-blood job before with the USC Trojans, you can tell he is chomping at the bit to get back to work and make this program one of the best in the country. He is going to attack this aggressively.
Sarkisian’s mantra of “all gas and no brakes” is a bit of a cliche, but one that could work well in helping Texas eradicate its culture of entitlement. In two years in his second stint at Alabama, Sarkisian eviscerated the SEC and the creme de la creme of the Power 5 with his high-octane offense. You can tell he is not going to tolerate corners being cut or any semblance of mailing it in.
2. “The Eyes of Texas” is the school song and they will sing it.
Texas’ song “The Eyes of Texas” has been scrutinized in recent years, given its connection to a racist past. While players did not always sing along with it in the postgame after a win under Herman, Sarkisian made it a point on where he stands with regards to the University of Texas’ controversial school song. Being in favor of it will help him with the school’s biggest boosters.
“I know this much, The Eyes of Texas is our school song,” said Sarkisian in his introductory press conference on Tuesday. “We’re going to sing that song, we’re going to sing that proudly.” Says that he knows there are tough discussions that need to happen. But, “That’s our song and we’re fired up to sing it.” Clearly, Sarkisian stands behind unity with all associated with the Texas program.
1. Sarkisian, and his father, view this as the best job in America.
While the Texas job had lost a bit of its luster in recent years, it is one that Sarkisian and his father view as the best one in the country. Sarkisian always reflects on the championship that got away from him when he was on Pete Carroll’s 2005 USC staff. That was to the Texas team that Vince Young delivered in the greatest moment in the history of the Rose Bowl. Now Sarkisian is in Austin.
“I’m excited, I’m pumped, I’m honored and I’m humbled to be named the head coach of the University of Texas. This morning I was on the phone with my parents, my dad is 84 years old and I mentioned about how I think of getting this Texas head-coaching job and he said, ‘About 20 years ago you told me dad, that’s the job. That’s the best job in America,’” said Sarkisian.
“It’s amazing to think here we are 15 years removed from me standing on the opposite sideline and Vince Young running into the endzone of the Rose Bowl and being named the head coach of Texas. It’s a tremendous opportunity for me.” This is an opportunity a coach like Sarkisian who has a checkered past will never get again. He knows he has to make the most of his time at Texas.
Overall, Sarkisian should excite the Texas fanbase. He brings with him a great philosophical approach, an ability to assemble a strong staff and work hard on the recruiting trails. In short, Texas hired him to make sure the Longhorns will be a fixture at Big 12 Championship games in the years to follow. Otherwise, he will be out in three or four years like Strong and Herman before him.
What are the biggest takeaways in your opinion from Sarkisian’s intro presser at Texas?