Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Former Rebel Hired to Be Offensive Coordinator

There are very few out there that have argued against this hire.

OXFORD, Miss. – Head Coach Houston Nutt completed his first Ole Miss football staff here Wednesday by announcing the selection of Rebel great Kent Austin as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The appointment is pending approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

A record-setting Rebel quarterback from 1981-85, Austin spent 15 seasons in the Canadian Football League and won championships as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

“There's nothing like hiring a quarterback coach who has played the position, especially at his alma mater,” Nutt said. “Kent Austin is a great character person and an excellent fundamental teacher. One of the first things you notice is his passion for coaching quarterbacks. With his knowledge and his expertise in coaching quarterbacks and the passing game, Kent will be a tremendous asset to our program.”

“I am extremely excited and feel tremendously privileged to join Coach Nutt and his staff at Ole Miss,” said Austin. “Houston is not only a great coach, but more importantly an outstanding person. I will work with diligence and passion to honor the trust that he has placed in me and will do whatever is asked to contribute positively to the program and to build into the lives of young men. This is wonderful blessing for my family who share in my excitement about coming home.”

As a rookie head coach for Saskatchewan this past season, Austin guided the Roughriders to the Grey Cup Championship, beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-19. Prior to that, Austin served as the offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argonauts from 2004-06 and helped coach the Argos to a Grey Cup title in 2004. He began his coaching career in 2003 as the quarterbacks coach for the Ottawa Renegades.

Austin played 10 seasons in the CFL and retired in 1996 as the league’s ninth all-time passer with 36,030 yards. His 57.6 yard completion average is third best, and he remains one of only four players to pass for more than 6,000 yards in a single season