In his introductory press convention two and a half years in the past, Texas soccer head coach Steve Sarkisian made it clear that his goal in coming to the Forty Acres was easy: “I got here right here to win championships. That’s the aim. We’re right here to chase greatness and to win championships. That’s why I’m right here.”
Since Sarkisian’s induction into the College of Texas, it’s been a rocky highway for the previous nationwide championship-winning offensive coordinator. Texas has gone a mixed 13–12 report in its final two seasons, failing to make a bowl recreation in Sarkisian’s first season and shedding to Washington within the Alamo Bowl in 2022. Now, in 2023, Sarkisian’s efforts have to be met with success.
When Sarkisian was introduced into Austin within the first few days of 2021, Longhorn soccer was removed from the powerhouse it was within the 2000s. Since a BCS Nationwide Championship recreation loss in 2009, the Longhorns have reached 10 wins in a season simply as soon as beneath three completely different head coaches. Tom Herman, Sarkisian’s predecessor, was fired after profitable solely 5 video games in Massive 12 play throughout his final two seasons at Texas.
Then again, Sarkisian joined Texas as one of many nation’s most spectacular assistant coaches. Below head coach Nick Saban, Sarkisian’s Alabama offense received a nationwide championship in 2020, incomes himself the Broyles Award, which is awarded to the highest teaching assistant within the nation. Sarkisian performed a serious half in growing quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, now beginning quarterbacks within the NFL. Regardless of his troubles as a head coach within the early 2010s, the hype surrounding Sarkisian as a head coach was at an all-time excessive.
But it surely’s not 2020 anymore, and in two full seasons beneath the helm, Sarkisian has failed to come back near his phrase — and it received’t be getting simpler after 2023, with Texas and Oklahoma formally leaving the Massive 12 to hitch the SEC convention in 2024. The SEC options the likes of Alabama, repeat nationwide champions Georgia, 2019 nationwide champions LSU, and aggressive packages like Texas A&M, Florida and now Tennessee. So in his final likelihood to win within the Massive 12, it’s now or by no means for Coach Sark to show himself on the College of Texas.
In faculty soccer, most head coaches are given three years to construct a promising program, sufficient time to herald and develop a full recruiting class and make the staff tailor-made to at least one’s expectations. In 2023, Sarkisian lastly has his staff. With simply 12 out of greater than 100 rostered gamers predating Sarkisian at Texas, it’s time to lastly see what Sarkisian can do with a staff he created.
Based on ESPN’s 2023 Soccer Energy Index, Texas is ranked No. 5 within the nation, predicting them to only barely miss the school soccer playoff. Based on Caesar’s Sportsbooks, the Longhorns are by far the bulk favourite to win the Massive 12 Championship in 2023. Texas is a staff continuously overvalued by the surface media, however there’s no denying the expertise of this roster on paper.
So the query is, if not this yr, then when will Sarkisian change into a profitable coach? 2023 is the time to show it for Sarkisian, and although he has been typically supported by Texas media, failure to win the Massive 12 this yr would place Sarkisian proper into the CFB sizzling seat and a potential villain within the College of Texas press, a spot no coach desires to be.
Although a firing could appear rash for Sarkisian if he doesn’t ship, the College of Texas is understood for its quick leash since Mack Brown departed in 2013. Charlie Robust was given simply three seasons after beginning very equally to Sarkisian, and Tom Herman, regardless of reaching 10 wins in his second season, was given the boot after 4 years. Now head coach at Florida Atlantic, Herman received 4 bowl video games in a row and by no means coached a shedding season for Texas.
Although Sarkisian is aware of higher than anybody in regards to the stress of his upcoming season, his confidence at Massive 12 Media Days was obvious and he acknowledged what he should do to win in Austin. He described how everybody on the staff made the choice to come back to Texas realizing the obligations and expectations that come together with being a university soccer powerhouse.
With two straight top-five recruiting lessons and a weak Massive 12 convention schedule in 2023, Sarkisian has cause to be assured. However with expertise and alternative comes ridicule, and it’s not a dialogue of Sarkisian’s potential as a coach. Sark should discover the formulation to guide him and his staff to victory in 2023, and losing the expertise of an offense that includes projected first-round picks Quinn Ewers, Xavier Worthy and Ja’Tavion Sanders might be the ultimate straw for Sarkisian’s tenure in Austin.