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Steve Sarkisian now itching for an NFL gig

Photo credit: USA Today

Steve Sarkisian wants another chance at coaching football, but this time in the NFL ranks according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

League sources told Schefter on Wednesday, Dec. 6 that the former USC and Washington head coach – who was fired by the Trojans for public intoxication in Oct. 2015 – is interested in becoming either an offensive coordinator or quarterback coach. Sarkisian has just one season of NFL experience on his coaching resume.

He worked with the Oakland Raiders in 2004, who had Rich Gannon at quarterback and Norv Turner as the head coach. Sarkisian is also well connected with current Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. He served as an offensive assistant under Carroll during the Trojans’ national championship runs in 2003 and 2004.

The 41-year-old Sarkisian has lately had legal battles with USC and a well-documented fight against alcohol. Sarkisian, who spent two seasons with USC and compiled a 12-6 record, filed a $30 million wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer on Dec. 7; claiming USC “kicked him to the curb” and that the school didn’t do enough to help him fight off his alcohol addiction.

The suit according to ESPN.com stated that Sarkisian has, at times, been “a person with a disability” under federal law because of his alcoholism and that the stress of his job contributed to his alcohol dependency. The suit also claims Sarkisian is now sober and is ready to return to coaching, but USC “has taken away his team, his income and a job that he loved.”

There were two events that saw an incoherent Sarkisian, which ultimately decided his fate at USC.

In Aug. 2015 at the Salute to Troy function, Sarkisian slurred his words and shouted expletives while on the microphone. It was revealed that the coach was under the influence of alcohol and painkillers and a video of his erratic behaivor surfaced online. Sarkisian apologized and said that he would get unspecified treatment, but denied that he had a drinking problem. Sarkisian then looked unstable at a Trojan practice in Oct. 2015, prompting athletic director Pat Haden to tell his coach to take a leave of absence. Haden, however, fired Sarkisian on the following day.

During his lone season in Oakland, the Raider offense improved from 27th to eighth in the passing game. He rejoined USC in Feb. 2005 as the school’s assistant head coach and quarterback coach. 

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Lorenzo Reyna

Lorenzo Reyna hails from the California's Central Coast, but has a bevy of experience with covering some fast-rising athletes from all over the Golden State. He's a former sports editor for The Reedley Exponent newspaper. His other credits include scout.com and nflevolution.com.
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