Steve Sarkisian credits C.C. Sabathia, Scott Van Pelt for getting him to rehab

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Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian managed to restart his coaching career after heading to rehab for his alcoholism.

While he knew it was something he needed to do, it took some help to ultimately get him into treatment. Sarkisian credits New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia and ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt for helping him get to the place he needed to take the steps required.

According to Vaughn McClure of, Sarkisian credits an ESPN commentary by Scott Van Pelt about Sabathia leaving the Yankees to get treatment as the playoffs approached to get him to the place he needed to be.

I was actually at home on a Sunday night and I was watching SportsCenter, and Scott Van Pelt was doing his editorial,” Sarkisian said. “That night was when CC Sabathia had decided to go to treatment before the Major League Baseball playoffs. I thought to myself, ‘Whoa, here’s somebody who is like me, who is in a very high-profile position in sports – ace pitcher of the New York Yankees — and was being relatively commended or almost celebrated for going to do what he did.’

“I knew I needed to [go]. I didn’t know how to go about it. But that thing gave me a feeling of, ‘There’s a like person that is going to do this. I know I need to do it. Now how, what, when.’ So I made the decision to go do it. It’s been the best decision of my life.”

The video was aired in October 2015. Sarkisian was fired by USC for reasons including his alcohol abuse on Oct. 12.

After treatment, Sarkisian joined Alabama’s football program as an analyst before being promoted to offensive coordinator for the National Championship game against Clemson. Sarkisian was going to become the full-time offensive coordinator at Alabama but accepted the Falcons job in February after the departure of Kyle Shanahan.