Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Steve Sarkisian hopes his obsession with winning championships is shared by his team

Lorianne Willett

Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian came to Texas to do one thing. Win championships.

Now that he’s tasted a conference championship, he’s hungry for more. 

“I came here to win a championship and then if I can get one I want to get two,” Sarkisian said. “I’m borderline obsessed with it at this point. … I know how close we were and I can’t wait to get back and hopefully, that’s what our team really starts to exude is this obsession with being the best.”

After falling just one play short of winning the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, alongside having players transfer and leave for the NFL Draft, Sarkisian’s first order of business is rebuilding his locker room’s culture. 

With National Signing Day falling on Thursday, Sarkisian did not sign a single new recruit. To him, it was more important to get his new players in the locker room to start rebuilding the team’s culture immediately. 

Of the 30 new signees, 25 arrived on campus in January to start working out with the team. 

“Complacency is like the devil,” Sarkisian said. “I cannot afford anybody in our building to feel like we’ve arrived because this is a new team. This team now has to develop their culture. This team has to develop their strengths. This team, I have to identify their weaknesses and how we can improve upon those things.” 

Sarkisian preached that his team’s culture is what made the 2023 team so strong, and now he’s relying on his returning leaders to get the new players fully immersed. On offense, some of the most notable returning players are junior center Jake Majors and redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers. On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive back Jahdae Barron and senior linebacker David Gbenda are also returning. 

Though Sarkisan preaches that the culture starts with the coaches, it also comes from within the team. 

“We’ve got a lot of players who have been with us now for two and three years that really get our culture,” Sarkisian said. “It’s ingrained in them. Now it’s their responsibility to get that ingrained in these 30 new players.” 

With the constantly changing landscape of college football, Sarkisian understands the role that the transfer portal now plays in recruiting. He knows that while he can recruit high school players, sometimes there will be needs that have to be immediately addressed for not just players, but coaches. 

With the departures of co-defensive coordinator Jeff Choate and defensive tackles coach Bo Davis, Sarkisian added Johnny Nansen from the University of Arizona to replace Choate and Kenny Baker from the Miami Dolphins to replace Davis. Sarkisian said that almost every one of his coaches had offers from other schools but most decided to stay.

“Naturally with success comes opportunities for other coaches,” Sarkisian said. “Naturally we’re trying to find the best coaches that fit us culturally but also that have proven to develop players and that can recruit at a high level.” 

Ahead of spring practices, Sarkisian can get his new staff and players fully immersed in the culture to continue the team’s success and win championships.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.