GLENDALE, Ariz. - Rumors floated earlier this week that the Cardinals were looking to hire Steve Sarkisian for their offensive coordinator position under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but a new report Saturday says he turned Arizona down.
ESPN's Dianna Russini reported the Cardinals offered the job to Sarkisian, the former offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, but he is returning to Alabama to coach under Nick Saban. Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2016.
Alabama co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis was hired by Jim Harbaugh to the offensive coordinator role at Michigan just two days ago.
Sarkisian, 44, was the head coach at the University of Washington from 2009-2013, the head coach at USC from 2014-2015, an offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2016 and was the Falcons OC for the past two seasons.
After a 7-9 season, the Falcons cleaned out its entire coordinating staff including Sarkisian. Sarkisian was hired to the Falcons to replace Kyle Shanahan, whose success got him a head coach job with the San Francisco 49ers. While his offenses certainly didn’t replicate Shanahan’s the Falcons still finished sixth in the NFL in yards per game and 10th in scoring with 26 points per game.
If Sarkisian was hired, the Cardinals would have had the second-youngest trio of head coach, offensive and defensive coordinator in the NFL (49ers) after hiring Vance Joseph, 46, to run the defense.
This will send the Cardinals back to the market, as it appears they've missed out on their first choice.
Another possible candidate floated this week was former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, 41. McAdoo was fired after the 2017 season and took the year off this season.