Steve Sarkisian

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Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian undergoes heart surgery, expected to make full recovery

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A member of the Alabama football coaching staff is recovering from a non-coronavirus-related health issue.

In a release Tuesday, Alabama revealed that football assistant Steve Sarkisian underwent an annual physical last week.  During the course of the procedure, “it was determined that he needed a procedure to correct a congenital cardiovascular anomaly before it became an issue.” The specific heart issue wasn’t detailed.

Surgery was performed last Thursday, the school stated.  The offensive coordinator is back at his residence in Tuscaloosa and is expected to make a full recovery.

The health hiccup is the continuation of what’s been a bumpy last few years for Sarkisian.

In mid-October of 2015, USC announced that Sarkisian had been dismissed as the Trojans’ head football coach, one day after he was given an indefinite leave of absence because of alleged and ongoing alcohol issues.  It was alleged that USC had instituted a zero-tolerance policy when it came to Sarkisian and alcohol use.  Leading up to his dismissal, Sarkisian allegedly showed up to meetings intoxicated.

From 2009-15, Sarkisian was a head coach in the Pac-12 — at Washington (2009-13) and USC (2014-15).  He went 46-35 during his time in that league.  He also spent two separate stints totaling seven seasons (2001-03, 2005-08) as an assistant at USC.

Following his ugly exit from USC, Sarkisian joined the Alabama Crimson Tide football program as an offensive analyst for the 2016 season. When Lane Kiffin took the head job at FAU prior to the national championship game that year, Sarkisian served as the play-caller in the loss to Clemson.

Expected to take over as the Crimson Tide’s coordinator, and after reports that his relationship with Saban had deteriorated surfaced, Sarkisian instead left a month after the title game for a job in the NFL as the coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.  Sarkisian lasted two years in that job before he was fired in December of 2018.

A month later, he rejoined the Tide as offensive coordinator.