ATLANTA, Georgia (A.W.)—Two days after their overtime loss to the New England Patriots in the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons announced on Feb. 7 that they have hired former University of Washington and University of Southern California (USC) head coach, Armenian-American Steve Sarkisian to replace Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Born in Torrance, Calif. in 2974, Sarkisian is the youngest of seven children and the only one in the family born in California. Sarkisian’s older six siblings were born in Massachusetts. Sarkisian’s Armenian father was born and raised in Tehran, Iran before immigrating to the United States at the age of 18 to attend college.
Before taking the position with the Atlanta Falcons, Sarkisian served as an offensive analyst for Alabama in the College Football Playoff. He has also served as the head football coach of the University of Washington from 2009 to 2013 and the head football coach at USC from 2014 to 2015.
Sarkisian played college football as a quarterback at Brigham Young University (BYU) and professionally with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL).