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'Chase greatness and win championships' | Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian welcomed to Austin

The Texas Longhorns welcomed their new head coach, less than 24 hours after he helped coach Alabama to a National Championship.

AUSTIN, Texas — Less than 24 hours after winning the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship as Alabama's offensive coordinator, newly hired University of Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian flew to Austin for his introductory press conference with local media on Tuesday. 

Sarkisian was named UT's new coach on Jan. 2, hours after the university announced former head coach Tom Herman had been fired. 

UT held a short Zoom press conference with local media on that same day, with Tuesday's official introductory meeting with the media already scheduled. 

From the day announcing his hire until now, Sarkisian has been pulling double duties as Texas' new football coach while preparing for the National Championship, which his Crimson Tide squad won, 52-24.

Here is a look at what Sarkisian talked about in Tuesday's introductory press conference: 

Sarkisian said his top priorities were finalizing the UT coaching staff and finalizing the recruiting class. He said a focus of the Longhorns program moving forward is to keep the best players in the state of Texas at home.

Sarkisian told reporters that he came to Texas to bring a championship pedigree. 

“It's time to go to work. This work will be all gas, no brakes ... I came here to win championships – that’s the goal, to chase greatness and win championships,” Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian told KVUE that he is excited about the speed on the UT roster. He said the Longhorns have a lot of talent, speed and athleticism. 

When it comes to the controversial topic about "The Eyes of Texas," Sarkisian said "it is our school song and we're goign to sing it proudly." He added that having those tough discussions with the players is important and those associated with the program can't "put our head in the sand and act like things aren't happening."

In regard to the Longhorns-Aggies rivalry, Sarkisian said he would love to bring Texas A&M back to UT's schedule, if possible. 

Sarkisian also addressed the balance of assembling a staff with new coaches, but also potentially keeping members from Tom Herman's staff. 

"What's the pulse of the team ... what's the pulse of the head coach and his style. The guys that we are going to hold over are good fits to what I'm looking for," Sarkisian said.

It was also clear that as Alabama's offense flourished on national television, the eyes of Texas players and fans were watching. Many in Longhorn Nation took to social media during the game, expressing excitement for the dominant Crimson Tide performance. 

Sarkisian will now take over for Texas, heading into a 2021 season with the No. 19 ranked team in the final 2020 AP poll. Here is a look at his coaching career to this point.


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