After Alabama won the College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Ohio State, coach Nick Saban was tasked with finding a replacement for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
And he has found his next man in the form of former Texans and Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien. According to ESPN's Chris Low, O'Brien is finalizing a deal to become the Crimson Tide's new coordinator.
O'Brien endured a quick exit from the Houston Texans this season following their 0-4 start, but his tenure with the team as a whole wasn't quite as horrific.
He led the Texans to a 52-48 record, claiming four AFC South titles and two victories through four postseason outings, though the team's offense was never one to be rivaled across the league.
O'Brien does bring a wealth of experience to the position, though. He served as the quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator through five seasons under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots.
In between his NFL stops, O'Brien was the head coach at Penn State, where he posted a 15-9 record through two seasons (2013-14). During his tenure, Penn State was one of the premier offenses in the Big Ten, finishing fourth in total offense each year and second and third in passing offense. He earned two Coach of the Year honors—the George Munger Award and the Bear Bryant Award—when he led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 campaign in his first season.
Prior to his time with Penn State, O'Brien has NCAA experience as an assistant at Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke.
He reportedly defeated another NFL candidate for the gig—former New York Jets head coach Adam Gase.
O'Brien takes over for new Texas head coach Sarkisian, who helped continue the Crimson Tide's position as a force in college football during his time with the team. He'll try to maintain that when the 2021 season begins, although the Crimson Tide are set to lose major cogs in their team, including Heisman Trophy contenders Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith.