|Former Ole Miss QB Austin leaves CFL for alma mater|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2008 14:07|
Austin led the Roughriders to the Grey Cup last season, his first as head coach.
``I struggled with this one pretty big time,'' Austin told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. ``But it is my alma mater, I have a great love and affection for my university ... if it had been any other university, I wouldn't have considered it.''
Austin met with new Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt about the vacancy last week. He accepted the offer Tuesday night.
``It's hard to explain unless you've experienced it,'' he said. ``When you grow up there, play high school football there - it's a different world, it's a different culture.
Terms of Austin's contract were not disclosed.
Austin, 44, is the Rebels' No. 3 career passing leader with 6,184 yards and was inducted into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame in 2000.
He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986 and joined the Roughriders a year later. He was the Grey Cup most valuable player after leading Saskatchewan to a league title in 1989 and earned a second Grey Cup with the British Columbia Lions in 1994. He retired two years later.
He entered coaching in 2003, helped the Toronto Argonauts to a Grey Cup as offensive coordinator in 2005 and took the Roughriders to the Cup in his first season as head coach last year.
``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.''
The hiring of Austin completes a nearly two-week search after Nutt's first choice for offensive coordinator, David Lee, left to take a job with the NFL's Miami Dolphins.