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Steve Sarkisian - former UW/USC HC/ Alabama OC (does CU have the balls to make this hire?)

Alfred91

Focused, relentless, tasting absolutely nothing.
Club Member
I haven't seen it mentioned here, but he also sued USC after he was fired. RG would have a tough time selling this hire to the BOR types.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2018/07/09/sarkisian-loses-30m-lawsuit-against-usc-over-firing/36743927/
I think that is solved by putting in language that specifically protects the school if he falls off the wagon hard.

I think it's important to note that no one is ever "cured" of alcoholism and almost everyone relapses a time or two. I have a couple of people very close to me who are recovering alcoholics. They have relapsed and they will again. Part of living with the disease is not letting the disease control you. If you fall off, find a way to get up the next morning and start a new sobriety streak. Don't let that one night turn into a week long bender where nobody knows where you are or what you're doing. That's where they need the most support.
 

Liver

modded mod
Club Member
Junta Member
i've followed sark and watched his career from the time he was at el camino to now. he's a ball coach; it is undeniable.

you can't "protect" the program if he falls off the wagon. it still lands on us; just like tucker tucking us at absolutely the wrong possible time dropped a piano on our heads.

sark is very high risk and potentially high rewards. if you think about the gamble that sark supporters are asking the CUAD to make right now, i am not sure that risk/reward analysis works out. he'd been expensive, very. he's not demonstrated any particular loyalty to any particular job. he's got the personal challenges. after the tucking we just experienced, i am thinking we are likely to be a bit more risk averse.

but, i do respect and admire his coaching ability. he's really good.
 

White_Rabbit

Club Member
Club Member
Sarkisian is set to make $1.55 million in 2019 and then $1.6 million and $1.65 million in 2020 and 2021. Sarkisian’s new contract at Alabama would have been college football’s seventh-largest last season.
that's what he's making at Bama
 

Buffnik

Real name isn't Nik
Club Member
Junta Member
that's what he's making at Bama
That brings up a concern I do have about Sark.

UW opened the vault to fix its program after going 0-12. They made it so he could hire every good Pac-12 recruiter they could pry away. USC also didn't kid around wit the assistant coaches. Now he's been at Bama where the analysts are higher profile coaches than most P5 programs have as coordinators.

I don't worry about putting together a package for Sark that would make him happy about his personal compensation.

But I do question whether CU could position him to hire the assistant coaches and football office personnel he would expect as necessary for building a top program.

This is an issue for a lot of coaches that will keep them away or cause them to become frustrated & look to leave. I don't know what the answer is until we get the new Pac-12 media deal in 2023.
 

Alfred91

Focused, relentless, tasting absolutely nothing.
Club Member
Some Bama fans don’t think this is a possibility as he will get a bigger or NFL job in 21
Bama fans think Sark can do better than CU if he just waits, Chiefs fans think EB can do better if he just waits.... that's the reality of the national perception of the CU job.

It's RG's job to dissuade his targets of that perception, I guess.
 

BlackNGold

Club Member
Wouldn’t the assistant coach thing be an issue with most candidate? CU needs to address that.

What I like about Sarkisian. - Top notch recruiter, he understands the recruiting game and its importance in college football. He is also very familiar with the CU’s recruiting footprint.

He has worked under two National Championship coaches -Pete Carrol and Nick Saban. I think those experiences are invaluable on the right way to build and run a program.

He obviously knows how to coach, he took an 0-12 UW team to a bowl game within 2 years. Look at CU -we have been in 2 bowl games within 15 years. I would put Sarkisian as a much better coach than MacIntyre.

The alcoholism will have to be checked out. I will point out that Bill McCartney had to overcome the same disease.

To me he seems more attractive than most of the realistic candidates mentioned.
 

Alfred91

Focused, relentless, tasting absolutely nothing.
Club Member
I think Sark is my number one guy. I believe he is a clearly top notch coach and can get some good assistants to fill out the staff. His past obviously is a red flag, but as has been brought up before, Saban wouldn't have had a drunk around, so we can assume he's been under control for a while. We just need to have a support system in place.

As Wilner says - there will likely be a lot of gratitude from Sark to whomever gives him a second chance, and probably loyalty, too. I don't believe the fears of him bolting to USC or something like that are necessarily warranted.
 

Clean Undies

Exploring the outernet
Club Member
I think Sark is my number one guy. I believe he is a clearly top notch coach and can get some good assistants to fill out the staff. His past obviously is a red flag, but as has been brought up before, Saban wouldn't have had a drunk around, so we can assume he's been under control for a while. We just need to have a support system in place.

As Wilner says - there will likely be a lot of gratitude from Sark to whomever gives him a second chance, and probably loyalty, too. I don't believe the fears of him bolting to USC or something like that are necessarily warranted.
I am of the opinion that the MSU opening would have been filled by someone else if Nick Saban was not headlining MSU’s search committee.

Saban’s influence and support for members of his coaching tree extends beyond Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama.

I believe it’s reasonable that Mel and Nick speak to each other. I suspect Nick Saban and Mel discussed the pros and cons involved with competing for championships in Colorado. This includes recruiting challenges, limitations that exist within the institution, and financial constraints resulting from Champaign Larry’s ham fisted management of Pac-12 media payouts.

Saban also obviously talks to Sark and could obviously share any insights he has gleaned from Mel.

If you were Rick George, and you just saw Saban pull Mel’s strings for MSU, why would you give Saban the privilege of jacking with CU again with Sark?

I would think Saban wants his protégés competing for natties at schools who can and do pay top dollar.

I just can’t get excited about Sark, even assuming his addictions are at bay. I just can’t trust Saban to steer Sark towards Boulder. I have my suspicions that Sark will be more loyal to Saban and SEC/B10 paychecks than to Rick George and the arms race losers over here in the Pac12.

Following the events of the last seven days, I have trust issues with Saban and his employees (both current and former) under the premise of once bit, twice shy.

When engaging Sark, my default assumption is that there is an agent somewhere using CU as vehicle to establish a market value that can be bettered by a school with deeper pockets.

It’s for this reason that I don’t trust Sark. And also Neuhesel makes me suspicious of retreads hitting a 3rd pac 12 school.

Maybe irrational, but that’s my problem with Sark
 
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SINKRATZ

PhD in Analogy
Club Member
I am of the opinion that the MSU opening would have been filled by someone else if Nick Saban was not headlining MSU’s search committee.

Saban’s influence and support for members of his coaching tree extends beyond Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama.

I believe it’s reasonable that Mel and Nick speak to each other. I suspect Nick Sabin and Mel discussed the pros and cons involved with competing for championships in Colorado. This includes recruiting challenges, limitations that exist within the institution, and financial constraints resulting from Champaign Larry’s ham fisted management of Pac-12 media payouts.

Saban also obviously talks to Sark and could obviously share any insights he has gleaned from Mel.

If you were Rick George, and you just saw Saban pull Mel’s strings as a mercenary for MSU, why would you give Saban the privileged of jacking with a resource limited CU again with Sark?

I would think Saban wants his protégés competing for natties at schools who can and do pay top dollar.

I just can’t get excited about Sark, even assuming his addictions are at bay. I just can’t trust Saban steer Sark towards Boulder, and I have my suspicions that Sark will be more loyal to Saban and SEC/B10 paychecks over Rick George and the arms race losers over here in the Pac12.

Following the events of the last seven days, I have trust issues with Saban and his employees (both current and former) under the premise of once bit, twice shy.

When engaging Sark, my default assumption is that there is an agent somewhere using CU as vehicle to establish a market value that can be bettered by a school with deeper pockets.

It’s for this reason that I don’t trust Sark. And also Neuhesel makes me suspicious of retreads hitting a 3rd pac 12 school.

Maybe irrational, but that’s my problem with Sark
That’s incredibly paranoid. If Sark is a candidate, it should be entirely based on his qualifications for the job not because Saban is pulling strings. Evaluate Sark on his own merits - who cares if Saban approves or not?
 

BlackNGold

Club Member
The whole Saban thing is overdone on this board. He has a relationship with both Michigan State and Tucker. I get calls from companies I have worked with when they are looking to fill a position asking if I have any recommendations. I sure many of you have given references for people in your network. Many of you guys have it more Machavillian than I see it. I certainly would not look at Sark without talking to Saban.
 

Not Sure

Club Member
Club Member
I am of the opinion that the MSU opening would have been filled by someone else if Nick Saban was not headlining MSU’s search committee.

Saban’s influence and support for members of his coaching tree extends beyond Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama.

I believe it’s reasonable that Mel and Nick speak to each other. I suspect Nick Sabin and Mel discussed the pros and cons involved with competing for championships in Colorado. This includes recruiting challenges, limitations that exist within the institution, and financial constraints resulting from Champaign Larry’s ham fisted management of Pac-12 media payouts.

Saban also obviously talks to Sark and could obviously share any insights he has gleaned from Mel.

If you were Rick George, and you just saw Saban pull Mel’s strings as a mercenary for MSU, why would you give Saban the privileged of jacking with a resource limited CU again with Sark?

I would think Saban wants his protégés competing for natties at schools who can and do pay top dollar.

I just can’t get excited about Sark, even assuming his addictions are at bay. I just can’t trust Saban steer Sark towards Boulder, and I have my suspicions that Sark will be more loyal to Saban and SEC/B10 paychecks over Rick George and the arms race losers over here in the Pac12.

Following the events of the last seven days, I have trust issues with Saban and his employees (both current and former) under the premise of once bit, twice shy.

When engaging Sark, my default assumption is that there is an agent somewhere using CU as vehicle to establish a market value that can be bettered by a school with deeper pockets.

It’s for this reason that I don’t trust Sark. And also Neuhesel makes me suspicious of retreads hitting a 3rd pac 12 school.

Maybe irrational, but that’s my problem with Sark
I take an entirely different approach. If you believe Saban had a hand in steering MT to MSU, make him pay for that by forcing him to go hire a new OC.
 

Clean Undies

Exploring the outernet
Club Member
The whole Saban thing is overdone on this board. He has a relationship with both Michigan State and Tucker. I get calls from companies I have worked with when they are looking to fill a position asking if I have any recommendations. I sure many of you have given references for people in your network. Many of you guys have it more Machavillian than I see it. I certainly would not look at Sark without talking to Saban.
Tucker’s exit was textbook Machavillian. Just saying.
 

WarBuff

Club Member
Tucker’s exit was textbook Machavillian. Just saying.
He certainly left no stone unturned in destroying a program that gave him his first HC opportunity. I thought I had read somewhere that CFMT and RG had gotten into a spat about loosening admission standards for some athletes and increasing monies for AC pay. It seemed to be only a rumor, but helps explain some of the crap CFMT pulled.
 

ahoelsken

Well-Known Member
My donor buddy says he's hearing Mississippi State was in negotiations with him before they got Leach. They moved onto the Pirate (according to him) because they found something with Sark that led them to believe he's not as sober as he comes off at the moment. If that's true, I'd pass.
 

skibum

Did not pee on the Alamo.
Club Member
My donor buddy says he's hearing Mississippi State was in negotiations with him before they got Leach. They moved onto the Pirate (according to him) because they found something with Sark that led them to believe he's not as sober as he comes off at the moment. If that's true, I'd pass.
Unless it was weed - we're a bit more ok with that than they are down in those parts...
 

Buffnik

Real name isn't Nik
Club Member
Junta Member
I'm not sure I care if he's still drinking as long as he hasn't lost control of it, but I probably do.

I think a lot of folks would be surprised at just how much drinking to excess is part of the norm in the coaching profession. I mean, last year I advocated for Dana Holgerson for chrissakes and the guy's home was even built around the custom bar he had created for hanging out with other coaches.

But maybe the standard here has to be higher since Sark actually did have a meltdown. He may be the John Daly of football coaching -- so much talent that he does extremely well until the next crash & burn. I'm not sure that CU is the type of situation that can deal with the crash & burn.
 

ahoelsken

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure I care if he's still drinking as long as he hasn't lost control of it, but I probably do.

I think a lot of folks would be surprised at just how much drinking to excess is part of the norm in the coaching profession. I mean, last year I advocated for Dana Holgerson for chrissakes and the guy's home was even built around the custom bar he had created for hanging out with other coaches.

But maybe the standard here has to be higher since Sark actually did have a meltdown. He may be the John Daly of football coaching -- so much talent that he does extremely well until the next crash & burn. I'm not sure that CU is the type of situation that can deal with the crash & burn.
Given what we know, the only way I think this works if he can't prove he's 100% sober is if he agrees to an accountability partner type of setup (Think Josh Hamilton with the Rangers...RG worked for them so he saw this) in addition to the high buyout.
 

Khytraeus

Well-Known Member
Very high risk but very high reward hire-I think I'd take the gamble if I'm RG. If he does relapse and blow up, will the BOR even allow CU to have a football team anymore?
 
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