February 26, 2024

Brighton Journal

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UT and Sarkisian agree to a four-year contract extension

UT and Sarkisian agree to a four-year contract extension

Austin – University of Texas head football coach Steve Sarkeesian UT Vice President and Richard Folger Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte announced Saturday that they have agreed to a four-year contract extension. Sarkisian came to Texas in January 2021 and just completed the third year of a six-year contract, a four-year extension through 2030.

“Coach Sark is a fantastic coach, a first-class person, and a tremendous leader of men,” said Kevin Eltiff, Chairman of the UT System Board of Trustees. “We knew he was the right man for the job when we hired him three years ago, and the way he stuck to the plan he laid out for us, stayed on track with putting everything in place, put our football program back among the best.” “In the country he was phenomenal. What a year it was. In 2023, we won the Big 12 final championship and took it to the CFP for the first time, knowing the best is yet to come. Coach Sark has brought pride and passion back to our program. We are very fortunate to have him, and we look forward to To many more exciting years to come.”

In three seasons at Texas, Sarkisian has steadily built a Longhorn football program that has returned to the nation's elite in a historic 2023 season. Sarkisian led the Horns to a 12-2 record, their first Big 12 championship since 2009, and their first-ever College Football Playoff appearance last season. Texas earned a final No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll, its highest finish in 15 years since a No. 2 finish in 2009, and the Longhorns were ranked among the top 25 teams in both the AP and AFCA Coaches Poll for 20 straight weeks. The Texans' current streak of 15 consecutive weeks in the top 10 in one of these polls is the Horns' longest stretch since 2009. The 12 wins on the year mark the fourth season of 12 or more wins in school history (2005, 2008). , 2009, 2023). That included seven straight wins heading into the CFP, UT's longest winning streak since 2009-10.

“What a great day to have Coach Sarkisian’s contract extended through 2030,” Utah President Jay Hartzell said. “He has done an amazing job rebuilding and bringing our football program back to great heights in three short years. But the things that make me most proud are the leadership he has brought and the impact he has had on our student-athletes. This shows in the culture he has built into our program and the great ways he has Our student-athletes represent the university. We compete at the highest level with class, dignity and a Texas battle that has been so exciting to see Longhorn Nation embrace. Coach Sark is a genuine man of great integrity, a talented developer with exceptional talent. “I couldn't be more grateful to have him as our coach.”

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In 2023, Texas has defeated four teams that finished the year in the top 25 (Alabama, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas), including taking down No. 5 Alabama in Tuscaloosa (34-24) – snapping a 21-game Crimson Tide streak Home wins (43 consecutive home games versus non-conference opponents). The Horns also faced 10 teams that played in bowl games last season.

“First and foremost, we could not have done this without the incredible leadership of our Board of Regents Chair Kevin Eltiff and President Hartzell. They play a critical role in everything we do, and we are so grateful for their support of our athletic department,” Del Conte said. What Coach Sarkisian did in rebuilding us back into one of the premier football programs in the country was amazing to watch. Last year was a historic year and a pleasure to be a part of, but the steadfast commitment he has provided in laying a foundation for a program that is designed for long-term success is an important part of this. His leadership, ability to develop players, and the way he and his staff get the best out of each student-athlete and the entire team is exceptional. He is all about the process, brings great energy and passion every day and thrives on building a truly connected team. His relentless commitment to recruiting the best players in Texas is clear, and the relationships he builds with them are key to his success. He also played a vital role in the revitalization of the Longhorn Nation and is an influential leader for us in all of athletics.

“As we head into the SEC next year, we do so with a great deal of momentum, a program we are extremely proud of and with a great coach and leader. We knew Coach Sarkisian was the right man for the job. When we hired him, he has proven that in every Step on the way. We couldn't be more excited about where we are and where we're headed, and we're thrilled that Coach Sark will be our coach for a long time.”

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As part of the Longhorns' memorable season in 2023, Sarkisian was named a finalist for the Bear Bryant, George Munger and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Awards. He was also named a Big 12 Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. The Longhorns were one of only five Power-5 programs to rank in the top 15 in scoring defense (35.8 ppg) and scoring defense (18.9 ppg), ranking 15th nationally in both. The versatile and balanced Sarkisian squad ranked ninth nationally in total offense (477.5 ypg), led the Big 12 in total defense (336.7 ypg/34th FBS) and was backed by one of the best special teams units in the country. Led by the Outland Trophy winner and unanimous first-team All-American defensive tackle Founder SweetTexas ranked third nationally in rushing defense (82.4 ypg). The Longhorns' ground game, which was led by Earl Campbell Award finalist Tyler Rose Jonathan Brooks 1,139 yards in 11 games, three total players with 100-yard rushing games, ranks 24th in FBS (188.4 ypg). Texans averaged 289.1 yards per game (17th/FBS). Seven Longhorns earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as Sweat was voted the league's Defensive Player of the Year and a defensive tackle. Byron Murphy II Named Defensive Lineman of the Year and Wide Receiver Adonai Mitchell The offensive newcomer of the year and linebacker were named Anthony Hill Jr It cost him Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Sarkisian has completely revamped the Texans' roster in his three seasons, and the future remains bright with top-five rankings in each of his past two signing classes.

“I said it when I came here three years ago, this is a dream job for me. It's a job that's intentional, and I'm excited every day to be the head coach at the University of Texas,” Sarkisian said. “We're happy with what we've been able to accomplish and proud of the culture we've built and the way our players have developed — on and off the field. But we're just getting started. I've said it all along, we were building this program for long-term success. We're here to chase greatness, win championships, and “We're one of the best in the country year after year. We're very fortunate to have a great group of players, a great staff, incredibly supportive management, and the strength of the Longhorn Nation behind us to help us do that.” “I cannot thank CDC, Chairman Hartzell and Chief Eltife enough for their commitment to our mission from day one, and I am grateful for their continued support.”

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Sarkisian has steadily built a foundation and created a culture in a program that has won eight regular-season games just twice (2012, 2018) and had four losing seasons in the 11 years before his arrival in 2022. After a 5-7 mark in year one, Texas State improved to 8-8. 5 in 2022, before returning the Horns to the nation's elite last season for the first time in a decade and a half. The eight wins in 2022 at the time marked only the second time in nine years (the fourth time in 14 years) that Texas had recorded eight regular-season victories. All five losses that year came by seven points or fewer. This team was led by a balanced offense that averaged 34.5 points per game (25th FBS), while allowing just 21.6 points per game (28th FBS). Running back Bijan Robinson led the way, earning unanimous first-team All-America honors and the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top player. Four Longhorns were named to the All-Big 12 first team in 2022. One year after no Texas players were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, five Longhorns were selected in the 2023 draft, and a total of seven made NFL rosters last year.

Sarkisian heads into Year 4 with a 25-14 record at Texas that includes a 20-7 mark the past two seasons. The Texans' eight wins in Big 12 regular-season games last season were the most since 2009. In 10 years as a head coach, he was 71-49, which includes seven turnovers.