Head Coach, General Manager and Vice President of Football Operations
Kent Austin was named the Tiger-Cats Head Coach, General Manager and Vice President of Football Operations on December 17, 2012, bringing a pedigree of success to Hamilton. Austin has previously captured Grey Cup championships as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Austin joins the Ticats after five years in the NCAA, the latter three as Head Coach at Cornell University. His impact at the Ivy League institution was felt immediately as Austin guided the Big Red to its first .500 record since 2007 while setting a school record by scoring at least 24 points in eight straight games. In 2011, Cornell established 11 new school records including passing yards and points scored while quarterback Jeff Mathews became the first sophomore to earn the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.
Prior to his tenure with the Big Red, Austin spent two seasons as Offensive Coordinator at Ole Miss. The Rebels averaged 30.8 points per game and averaged an impressive 405 yards per game under Austin’s watch. In 2008 – his first year at Ole Miss – Austin helped the program engineer its biggest turnaround since 1947, finishing at 9-4 one year after a 3-8 campaign.
Austin’s first stint as a Head Coach came in 2007 when he was named the CFL’s Coach of the Year after leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a 12-6 record and the franchise’s first Grey Cup championship in 18 years.
Austin’s previous CFL experience includes stops as quarterbacks coach with the Ottawa Renegades (2003) and offensive coordinator with the Toronto Argonauts (2004-06).
Two quarterbacks under Austin’s tutelage have been named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player; Damon Allen in 2005 and Kerry Joseph in 2007.
As a player, he enjoyed a successful 11-year pro career at quarterback that began with the St. Louis Cardinals after they selected him in the 12th round of the 1986 NFL Draft. Following one year with the Cardinals, Austin headed north where he would put together a 10-year CFL tenure with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1987-93), BC Lions (1994), Toronto Argonauts (1995) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1996).
Austin is currently the CFL’s 11th all-time leading passer with 36,030 yards while his .576 career completion percentage is the third-highest in CFL history. He earned Grey Cup rings with the Lions in 1994 and Roughriders in 1989, taking home Grey Cup MVP honours in the Riders memorable win over Hamilton.
He played four years at Mississippi before turning pro and is still one of the school’s most celebrated pivots. He ranks second in career completions (556) and attempts (981), third in passing yardage (6,184) and 200-yard games (11), and fourth in passing touchdowns (31) and total offense (6,179). During his playing days as a Rebel, he was a three-time SEC Player of the Week and was named to the Academic All-SEC team from 1982-85. He was honoured with the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award in 1985 and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate scholarship in 1986.
In 2000, He was elected to the University of Mississippi’s Sports Hall of Fame. Austin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1985.
Austin and his wife, Shelley, have three children: Kendall, Kassidy and Wesley.
AUSTIN COACHING HISTORY
|2013||Head Coach / GM / VP of Football Operations||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|2008-09||Offensive Coordinator||University of Mississippi|
|2007||Head Coach||Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|2004-06||Offensive Coordinator||Toronto Argonauts|
|2003||Quarterbacks Coach||Ottawa Renegades|