When Kent Austin left Canada, there was mourning all day.
News talk radio stations in Regina, Saskatchewan devoted all their time to the subject. Some callers praised, some criticized Austin’s decision to leave after only one season as head coach, but they all had opinions about the man who led their Roughriders to two of their three CFL championships.
Austin was MVP in the Grey Cup title game when he quarterbacked Saskatchewan to the crown in 1989. The franchise’s other Grey Cup title was in 1966.
Riders fans were trying to apply a why to the what.
“Why would Kent Austin leave for an assistant coach position in college football?”
Austin has always maintained that he isn’t positioning himself for a collegiate head coaching position, that he has no private agenda, though if he did this was a season that would have taken big steps toward the goal.
With Austin – an Ole Miss quarterback in the late 1980s – as offensive coordinator, the Rebels improved in the SEC statistics from 12th to fourth in scoring offense, from ninth to third in total offense, from 11th to third in rushing offense and from 11th to third in pass efficiency.