Ticats Kent Austin talking to U.S. schools about coaching jobs

Kent Austin may be looking for another job.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats vice-president of football operations told a TSN 1150’s Louis B on Monday that he has talked to U.S. schools about possible coaching positions.

“There has been some correspondence but nothing that I would say at this point would be very serious,” Austin said.

But the fact that Austin is pursuing other opportunities is interesting given that he currently has two more years remaining on the deal he signed in January 2016 to remain the team’s head coach, general manager and vice-president of football operations through the 2019 season.

A CFL source says the Ticats have given Austin permission to pursue other opportunities.

Austin removed himself as head coach of the Ticats in August after five seasons at the helm with the team sitting at 0-8. Since guiding the Tiger-Cats to a second straight Grey Cup appearance in 2014, he had gone 17-27.

He named June Jones, hired as an offensive consultant just two weeks earlier, as his interim replacement. Jones went 6-4 in the final 10 games of the season and agreed to a three-year extension earlier Monday.

“It was a big decision. When you remove yourself as I did or you get fired, if you want to coach, you better get back in pretty quickly because you can get out of sight, out of mind very quickly. I understood that when I made the decision but it was still the right decision for the organization,” Austin said on Monday while discussing the Jones extension. “I miss coaching but I love what I do, I love the people that I work for. I love this organization and I’m committed to bringing a championship to the Tiger-Cats.”

Austin said that the negotiations between the team and Jones’ agent, Leigh Steinberg, were handled by team CEO Scott Mitchell.

“Quite frankly, it would be a little awkward to have the previous coach negotiating the contract details with the existing coach, especially the guy I chose to replace me so it just made more sense to let Scott handle that piece of it,” Austin said.

Despite a disappointing 2017 campaign, Austin wouldn’t change how he dealt with things.

“I don’t have any regrets. I tried to handle it as professionally as I could, with the proper amount of humility and understanding that I needed to do what was best for the organization,” Austin said.

“Could I have done things better? You can always do things better but I think that my heart and my responsibilities to this organization were first and foremost.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1550 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

28 Comments on Ticats Kent Austin talking to U.S. schools about coaching jobs

  1. Gerald Fildebrandt // December 4, 2017 at 5:58 pm //

    Austin has a respectable record as head coach, but this year it all went to hell. I gained allot of respect for him when he hired Jones to replace himself as head coach in mid season. When was the last time you saw that. To many GM’s now are taking on to many responsibilities, look at Hamilton, Montreal, BC and Saskatchewan. all but the later failed miserably this year.

    • Sea of Dead // December 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm //

      No, KA’s head coaching record went to hell in the 2016 season yet he was rewarded with a lucrative 3yr extension despite that performance.

      The reason that people like KA take on too many titles/responsibilities is to circumvent the usual checks and balances that are in place to evaluate performance, not because they are workaholics. If you are Head of Football operations, GM and coach then there is only one person evaluating you and in KA’s case that happened to be his pal Mitchell who naturally took care of him after the stinker in 2016.

      • Agree SoD. It completely derails the accountability train. Which explains why the team fell completely off the tracks the first 8 games.

  2. I expect to be here for many years to come. Regards Kent Austin on a mid year presser I believe he said. A good coach who may of run his course in Hamilton who appears to have changed his mind in the past 2-3 months or so.

  3. The Iceman // December 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm //

    If Austin is looking he is gone. O-Coach Stef P is looking and he too will be gone.
    Clears the deck for new hires. Hopefully some with CFL experience.

    • Based on the OC hire of Morrison, it is not clear that Jones is looking for CFL experience.

    • Maybe you should get the facts straight because the headline (not Drew’s probably) is misleading. Jut because teams are putting out feelers to Austin doesn’t mean that he’s actively looking. In fact he said there wasn’t anything serious which of course doesn’t mean that there might not be something concrete in the next month. Stef P was just facing the reality that under a new head coach his contract might not be renewed while Morrison was brought in as an offensive “assistant” not the OC. Jones had enough to contend with and wasn’t going to make wholesale changes to the coaching staff mid-season. Now that he has a three year deal in place he’ll select his staff which might well include at least some of the coaches that he “inherited” along with others of his choosing.

      • Missed that Morrison is with the Cats an offensive assistant plus that he has been similar but not an OC for Jones.

        Either way, with a three year contract … Jones will likely be shuffling the coaching staff to whatever he wants.

        What happens at VP, GM etc. is likely not his doing.

  4. For jj to agree to a 3 year deal he has to have some input on personnel. Looking at this from a business standpoint is it possible to have Kent Austin as vice President of football ops making over $500000 year after giving up coaching duties I realize he is still under contract but seems there may be too many cooks in the kitchen now and what’s the point of keeping him around if jj is gonna deal with Mitchell and seems like Kent is losing or has lost respect from the players . If my employer told me i was free to talk other employers about other job opportunities i would think it’s the end of the road and time to move on !

  5. Don’t shut the door on the way out!

  6. Billinburlington // December 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm //

    I have mixed feelings. He turned theTicats around and took them to 2 Grey Cups and became an icon. Unfortunately he became a shooting star that crashed and burned amidst the team’s horrible 2016 season end and 10 games into 2017.

    I didn’t like his reluctance to run the ball-even with fans calling for a run game while watching poor Zach running for his lifedown after down. Yet I believe he was playing the-right QB. Probably best for KA to get a new start somewhere else as his support of Zach means nothing to the team now JM is the QB. sadly I wonder who will be the first to sign elsewhere- KA or ZC?

    • Billinburlington // December 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm //

      But let me be clear- June Jones deserves to be HeadCoach next year. He brough5 a whole new breath of fresh air to the team… players said as much about Jones’ approach in the confines of the locker room. And we as fans saw it in the post game interviews: KA was tense, intense, guarded, arrogant and at times outfight rude to reporters (esp. as the losing streak deepened… in fairness how many ways can a coach diplomatically explain the team stinks). Jones in the post game pressers is much more friendly, open, engaging and informative… the reporters were even having fun in them and enjoying the time with the coach once again.

    • An icon hahahahaha. The only reason they got to two cups is cause they play in the pathetic east division where every team has an undeserved chance

      • And so did Montreal for a number of years when they went to the cup…and so did Toronto last season…

        So their accomplishment have no significance either…

      • well the pathetic east has won 2 yrs in a row against the mighty stamps(chokers) so if we are pathetic what is the west deplorable ,only thing that counts is winning the Cup pal

  7. Lancaster/Reed // December 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm //

    I wonder if the money issue that he had with his last college team will sour some of the interest he will draw down south?

    • Sea of Dead // December 4, 2017 at 8:40 pm //

      I wonder how big a severance package was offered to KA by the Caretaker for him to even consider leaving the organization because he’s still got two years at over 1M$ per remaining on his contract and I can’t see any Division 1-A US colleges having interest where he could make the same kind of money.

      • Actually the NCAA pays very good and with a weak Canadian dollar and high taxes and high cost of living in Canada, coaching there can be much more attractive.
        The top tax bracket in Canada is reached at $150k a year, the same tax bracket in the US is reached at $400k. You have to also add on provincial tax rate on top of our federal rate, in Florida for instance there is zero income tax.

        Plus I’m sure he is saying it’s time to go home, too long in a foreign country.
        Get back to some 4 Down real football

      • Are you sure Austin is getting $1M per year?…I don’t recall figures that high.

  8. Scottsask // December 4, 2017 at 9:08 pm //

    Classic Kent.

  9. Take giggles Fantuz with you Austin!!

  10. Just testing

  11. Neither Jones, Mitchel or Austin are the answer. This organization is weak all through. Last place or third place at best for years to come. Collaros should leave as well.

  12. Paul Smith // December 5, 2017 at 8:26 am //

    A little unclear about Mitchell’s math.

    I don’t recall Austin taking the Cats to the Grey Cup
    3 times.

  13. Best news I have heard about the Tiger-Cats in a long time.

  14. Jason Gult // December 5, 2017 at 9:16 am //

    Guys he’s got a shot to coach an NCAA team, he’s gotta take it…

    First step in getting to the NFL, which is this case if probably very slim. But at least it’s better than the CFL.

  15. Ron Bates // December 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm //

    I am as vague here as it can be but with so many people in this league attempting to create pros out of young kids Quote Unquote that this looks like a development league and anything how the CFL should appear or be! Lets get with it bigger rosters now, practice squads and injury lists spell out no time for baby sitting, grow up now it’s pro camp and get out of this see ya Kent environment!

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