Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian: Will benefit from new hire Gary Patterson's knowledge of Texas football landscape

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday he will benefit from former TCU coach Gary Patterson's more than two decades of knowledge navigating the state now that he's a part of the Longhorns' staff.

Two weeks ago, Texas announced it had hired Patterson to be a special assistant to Sarkisian.

Patterson, a consistent thorn in the Longhorns' side on the football field, spent 21 seasons as the head coach at TCU before being pushed out in November.

He left the Horned Frogs with a record of 181-79 and a pair of Associated Press Coach of the Year awards. He led the team to 17 bowl games and the school even built a statue in his honor.

"I've always had a great deal of respect for Gary and the job that he did at TCU," Sarkisian said. "He's been there 24 years -- you know, 21 years as a head coach -- and really built that program from the ground up and put them on a national stage and developed a brand and did a lot of cool things."

Sarkisian called Patterson a "tremendous defensive coach."

"But for me, more than anything, this guy knows our conference really well," Sarkisian said. "He knows the recruiting landscape in the state of Texas really well. Twenty-four years later, he's still here. He still knows the coaches."

Sarkisian said the thought to bring in Patterson came, at least in part, from his time working for Nick Saban at Alabama.

Saban has hired a number of former head coaches in off-the-field roles at Alabama, including former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and former New Mexico coach Mike Locksley.

Sarkisian originally joined the Crimson Tide in 2016 as an analyst after he'd been fired by USC the season before. He'd become offensive coordinator from 2019-20 before taking the head job at Texas.

"Quite frankly, [I] got some of that idea from Coach Saban," Sarkisian said. "You know, in my time in Alabama, you know, how many head coaches have come through there in analyst type roles? I know a lot has been made of that benefited their own -- like myself, my own personal career. But I like to think some of those guys help benefit what Alabama was able to do as well. So hopefully, this is a two-way street."