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Kent Austin

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Kent Austin

Kent Austin
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1963-06-25) June 25, 1963
Place of birth: Natick, Massachusetts
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Brentwood Academy
College: Ole Miss
NFL draft: 1986 / Round: 12 / Pick: 312
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Stats at
Stats at

Richard Kent Austin (born June 25, 1963) is the current head coach and general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football team. He was previously the head coach at Cornell University and offensive coordinator at Ole Miss. He was also the former head coach of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders after serving as offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argonauts and quarterbacks coach for the Ottawa Renegades.


  • College career 1
  • Professional career 2
    • Career statistics 2.1
  • Coaching career 3
  • Head coaching record 4
    • CFL 4.1
    • College 4.2
  • Family 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

College career

Austin is a former starting quarterback himself. Following high school at Brentwood Academy, he went to the University of Mississippi and played quarterback in the early 1980s. He ranks third in passing yards in the Ole Miss records, behind Eli Manning and Romaro Miller. Austin was an Academic All-American in each of his four college seasons and is a member of the University of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional career

After college, Austin was selected in the 12th round (312th overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played two seasons in the NFL as the team's third-string quarterback, attempting a single pass.

In 1988, the Cardinals chose not to resign Austin, and he instead jumped to the CFL and joined the Roughriders, initially as their back-up quarterback. On November 26, 1989 in Toronto, Austin was at the helm of the Roughriders when they won the 1989 Grey Cup versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, winning the MVP trophy for his 474 yards passing in the game. One of the Top 10 quarterbacks in CFL history, with 36,030 career passing yards on 4,700 pass attempts, having completed 2709 passes (57.6%), Austin is a Roughriders legend for leading the team to its second league championship (Grey Cup). He also threw 198 touchdown passes and 191 interceptions in his 10 CFL seasons with 4 teams.

Austin started at quarterback for the Roughriders, British Columbia Lions, and Toronto Argonauts (the second Ole Miss star to play quarterback for Toronto, the first being Eagle Day in 1967), as well as serving as a backup for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He is one of only four CFL quarterbacks to pass for more than 6,000 yards in a single season (6,225 in 1992 with Saskatchewan). Austin won his second Grey Cup in 1994 with the British Columbia Lions, starting the 82nd Grey Cup but being replaced at halftime by Danny McManus due to an injury. McManus would lead the Lions to a win on a last-second field goal.

In the Columbo episode A Bird in the Hand... (air date November 22, 1992), footage from a Saskatchewan Roughriders versus Edmonton Eskimos game was used to portray a fictional game played by a football team called "The Stallions". As the footage showed Kent Austin playing and wearing the No. 5 jersey, the actor playing the quarterback wore a jersey bearing that number throughout the television episode. When a scene required seeing the quarterback in play, they used footage of Kent Austin.

Career statistics

  Passing   Rushing
Year Team Att Comp Pct Yards TD Int Rating Att Yards Avg Long TD
1987 SSK 156 93 59.6 1,172 3 10 62.8 24 138 5.8 31 0
1988 SSK 277 162 58.5 2,084 8 12 73.7 51 258 5.1 34 2
1989 SSK 323 183 56.7 2,650 16 12 84.5 42 168 4.0 18 3
1990 SSK 618 360 58.3 4,604 27 27 78.0 50 158 3.2 17 5
1991 SSK 554 302 54.5 4,137 32 18 84.3 21 10 0.5 9 6
1992 SSK 770 459 59.6 6,225 35 30 84.4 71 200 2.8 17 11
1993 SSK 715 405 56.6 5,754 31 25 82.7 32 88 2.8 21 7
1994 BC 551 317 57.5 4,193 24 22 79.6 29 102 3.5 16 3
1995 TOR 422 252 59.7 3,076 14 19 74.5 17 35 2.1 12 1
1996 WPG 314 176 56.1 2,135 8 16 64.4 21 100 4.8 16 0
SSK totals 3,413 1,964 57.5 26,626 152 134 81.0 291 1,020 3.5 34 34
CFL totals 4,700 2,709 57.6 36,030 198 191 78.0 358 1,257 3.5 34 38

Coaching career

In 2003, Austin entered coaching as the quarterbacks coach of the Ottawa Renegades. The following year he was hired as Toronto offensive coordinator, helping lead the team to an offensive surge that allowed the franchise to win the 2004 CFL championship. He was fired in the 2006 season and later hired as Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach for the 2007 season.

On November 25, 2007, Kent Austin coached the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the 95th Grey Cup Championship beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23–19. In doing so, Austin became the first head coach to win a professional football championship for the same team with which he won the championship as a quarterback.[1] He did so in his first year as head coach, and at the same stadium where he won the cup as a player, 18 years earlier. His performance as head coach won him the 2007 Annis Stukus Trophy as CFL coach of the year.[2]

On January 16, 2008, Austin accepted the job as Offensive coordinator at the University of Mississippi, his alma mater, to serve under head coach Houston Nutt. In 2008 Austin's offense ranked 28th nationally scoring 32 points a game up from 20 points a game in 2007.[3]

On January 26, 2010 Austin accepted the head coaching job at Cornell University replacing Jim Knowles who left Cornell to become the defensive coordinator for David Cutcliffe at Duke University.[4]

On December 17, 2012 Austin signed as the head coach and GM of The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of The Canadian Football League. Austin has led the Tiger-Cats to consecutive Grey Cup appearances in his first two years as head coach.

Head coaching record


Team Year Regular season Post season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
SSK 2007 12 6 0 .667 2nd in West Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
HAM 2013 10 8 0 .555 2nd in East Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
HAM 2014 9 9 0 .500 1st in East Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
Total 31 23 0 .574 1 Division
6 2 1 Grey Cup


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Cornell Big Red (Ivy League) (2010–2012)
2010 Cornell 2–8 1–6 7th
2011 Cornell 5–5 3–4 6th
2012 Cornell 4–6 2–5 T–6th
Cornell: 11–19 6–15
Total: 11–19


Kent Austin's wife is named Shelley; his oldest daughter Kendall, their middle daughter Kassidy, and their youngest son Wesley.


  1. ^ Cole, Cam "Twice as Nice", National Post, November 22, 2007 Retrieved November 25, 2007.
  2. ^ "Austin named CFL's top coach for 2008". Canada: CBC. February 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ "2008 Offensive rankings". FOX Sports on MSN. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ The Cornell Daily Sun: Cornell to Name Kent Austin as Head Football Coach

Further reading

  • Masters, Mark (July 27, 2009). "Kent Austin's remarkable CFL journey". Retrieved July 27, 2009. 

External links

  • profile
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders coaching staff
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