Austin will be named Cornell’s coach

OXFORD — Kent Austin is expected to be named Cornell’s new football head coach at a press conference tomorrow morning, according to a source close to the search.

Austin has been UM’s offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, helping the Rebels to an 18-8 record and two Cotton Bowl victories. He was a head coach in the CFL for one season before coming to Oxford and was also the Ole Miss quarterback from 1981 to 1985.

Austin and coach Houston Nutt have not returned messages seeking comment.

Austin will be missed because he was a quality offensive mind, and Nutt is most certainly looking to fill the position quickly. But honestly, it probably won’t have much of an effect on this recruiting class. It’s not like losing a Tyrone Nix, Mike Markuson, Kim Dameron or Ron Dickerson. Recruiting was never really Austin’s strong point, and he told me several times that it was “interesting” trying to woo athletes in the SEC.

That being said, Austin should be a very good fit at Cornell. It’s an Ivy League school and Austin has an Ivy League-caliber brain. It’s not that Austin can’t recruit — it’s just that the wild and wacky world of the SEC sometimes drove him crazy. Recruiting to Cornell shouldn’t be quite as complicated, though I’m sure it will present its own challenges. As far as Xs and Os, Austin is very talented.