Carroll said he spoke with Sarkisian about six weeks ago and hopes he will be able to return to coaching soon after being fired by USC.
INDIANAPOLIS — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he spoke with former Washington and USC coach Steve Sarkisian, also a longtime assistant for Carroll at USC, about six weeks ago and hopes he will be able to return to coaching soon.
Sarkisian was fired in October by USC after he reportedly showed up drunk to a team meeting. He spent 30 days in treatment and, according to a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed against the university in December, no longer is taking prescription medication.
“I’m sure when Steve’s ready to do it he’ll get back,’’ Carroll told reporters at the NFL combine. “And he’s a fantastic coach. In life, a lot of people go through some issues in their lives, and he’s working through it now and getting himself ready and right to get back to compete again. I’ve always thought highly of his coaching ability.’’
But would Carroll bring Sarkisian back to Seattle with the Seahawks?
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“I’m not going to go there right now,” Carroll said.
Carroll added that Sarkisian is “doing well” and making progress and that he knows Sarkisian would like to return to coaching soon.
Earlier Thursday, former USC quarterback Cody Kessler told reporters at the combine that he has not spoken recently to Sarkisian. But Kessler said he has no ill feelings toward his former coach. In fact, he expressed admiration for Sarkisian and hope that he gets another chance in football soon.
“You know, Sark it obviously was an unfortunate situation that happened,” said Kessler,who started for three seasons at USC.
“But he was good to me, and I respect him still to this day. He was a good coach, a good man. He really is. He’s a good person. He just had personal things going on that were unfortunate that affected him in his job, which was being a head coach. It was tough to see, especially being a guy who had gotten so close to him over the years. I still wish him the best, and hopefully he gets another opportunity to coach again, because he really is a really good coach, a good person, and the players, especially me, loved playing for him. It was just unfortunate the things he was dealing with at the time.”
Sarkisian, a former standout QB at BYU, served as USC’s quarterbacks coach from 2001-03 under Carroll and then after a year as an assistant with the Raiders returned to USC in 2005 as quarterbacks coach before being promoted to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2007. Sarkisian then took the head coaching job at UW following the 2008 season, before returning as head coach at USC in 2014.
ESPN reported in January that Sarkisian had put out feelers to NFL teams expressing interest to be an offensive coordinator or a quarterbacks coach. The Seahawks do not have any openings on their coaching staff. However, there are no rules in the NFL limiting the size of coaching staffs (unlike in college football) so coaches or staff members can be added without anyone having left.