Sarkisian on talent meeting culture in football program

Sarkisian on talent meeting culture in football program

AUSTIN (KXAN) – In his three seasons of game action at Texas, head coach Steve Sarkisian has seen the football program grow consistently in terms of wins. From a 5-7 record in his first season to a trip in the College Football Playoff in 2023, Sarkisian has continually attributed the improvement in wins to a stronger culture.

“In the past as we were building this program, we talked a lot about culture beats talent,” said Sarkisian. “We had to build a really strong culture to beat teams that maybe had a little better talent than we did early on.”

Now with Sarkisian and his staff more confident they have talent to compete in the SEC, they know what they built culture-wise could create something special now.

“We still need the culture,” said Sarkisian. “Culture and talent together – that’s really dangerous. We don’t ever want to sacrifice the team mentality just because we have the talent now because we’re going to need both to try to go win a championship this fall.”

Texas has to replace a number of key leaders from last years team in players like Jaylan Ford, Christian Jones and T’Vondre Sweat. They had to do the same the previous year when Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson left for the NFL.

With the natural turnover in college athletics, new players will need to step up in leadership roles each season. Sarkisian added that he can’t just expect the culture they built to carry over when players leave.

“I think one thing as coaches, the mistake we can make is ‘We got it,'” said Sarkisian. “I talked about it early on in January, complacency is the devil. If I get complacent like our culture is great and I neglect it, sooner or later it will start to deteriorate.”

The team is inching closer to the annual Orange-White Spring Game on April 20. The Longhorns head coach likes where his team is trending currently in spring practice.

“We’re having a really competitive spring practice right now,” said Sarkisian. “We had a really competitive practice/scrimmage on Saturday. Physical, a lot of tackling. Which we needed.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KXAN Austin.