It looks like Bill O’Brien will have a new job.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are finalizing a deal to make O’Brien, who was fired as the Texans coach and general manager in October, the team’s offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.
O’Brien, 51, spent time with Alabama last week before their dominant 52-24 national championship win over Ohio State on Monday and was at the team’s football complex on Wednesday, according to the website.
Though Saban didn’t officially announce the hiring, he lauded O’Brien in a Zoom news conference call Wednesday — saying he would “do a great job with our players here” — before he won the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award later that night.
“I’ve always tried to have the best knowledge and experience I can for our players and their development, and I certainly think [O’Brien] can contribute to that in a very positive way,” Saban said.
O’Brien will be replacing Steve Sarkisian, who left Alabama to become the head coach of the Texas Longhorns.
The former Texans coach was fired after getting off to an 0-4 start this past season. O’Brien, who was in his seventh season in Houston, compiled a 52-48 record and won the AFC South four times in his tenure.
The Alabama offensive coordinator position won’t be O’Brien’s first job in college.
He was Penn State’s head coach for two seasons (2012-13) and helped the program rebuild in the wake of the NCAA sanctions they received after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He also was Duke’s offensive coordinator in 2005-06 and ran Georgia Tech’s offense in 2001-02.
Like Saban, O’Brien has strong ties to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He was on the six-time Super Bowl winning coach’s staff from 2007-11 and was the team’s offensive coordinator in his final season in New England.