Kent Austin out as Ticat vice-president of football ops

Kent Austin is stepping down as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats vice-president of football operations.

The team made the announcement late Thursday afternoon.

Austin resigned as head coach last August after the team’s 0-8 start but remained in charge of football operations.

General manager Eric Tillman, assistant general manager and director of football operations Shawn Burke, and assistant general manager and director of Canadian scouting Drew Allemang all remain in place.

Austin will also serve as a consultant with the club.

“Kent’s made a great contribution to a very successful period for the Tiger-Cats,” said team CEO Scott Mitchell. “When you lead the team to three-straight Eastern Finals and two Grey Cup appearances and play some of the most exciting playoff games in Tiger-Cats history, it’s a period of time that fans will never forget. We think we’re poised for another run and Kent has been a very important part of that architecture. We’re looking forward to his continued contribution, albeit in a new role.”

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 (1569 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.

72 Comments on Kent Austin out as Ticat vice-president of football ops

  1. I assume the consultant position will only last until he finds another job with another club, in this or another league? That is to say he’ll be actively looking.

    • greenenvy? // April 12, 2018 at 6:52 pm //

      I’d say that’s a fair remark.

    • Yep, I too agree with you and others that this just frees him up (and likely some cash) for him to now take on a new job elsewhere.

      He was the author of his own sad demise.

      All he had to do change QBs and give Zach C a break and Masoli the field to change it up for both a struggling QB and the team.

      Austin some years before was public that he didn’t mind changing QBs mid game and he did.

      Why he refused this last time was astonishing and stupid.

      • All he had to do was fix the O line and the db’s before the start of last season, he didn’t and they lost.

  2. Lennywasout // April 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm //

    I’m an Austin fan. Sad to see him go.

    • ??
      Did you read the article? he isn’t going, he’s a consultant.

      • KA is an astute football man, he will land on his feet. His current “promotion” to vice-president in charge of paper clips won’t last long. He is still getting paid under contract.

  3. Didn’t seem to have anything positive to add to the team in the last two years and his sideline rants were beyond bizarre. Weird how he seemed to change publicly so quickly.

    • Cal Gary Shampeders // April 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm //

      He always ranted like that. You notice it more and he does it more when he’s losing.

      Now the Ticats just need to fire Scott Mitchell (who continued to defend Art ‘The Rapists Defender’ Briles even after the team was forced by the CFL to drop him).

      • Briles resigned after his players were accused of sexual assault, not rape.
        Also the president of Baylor Ken Starr also lost his job and Athletic Director Ian McCaw.
        I think Briles got shafted, his players committed sex assault not him. But a good leader will take the blame even though they are innocent.

        • Gary Allen // April 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm //

          Briles was just one more in a longgggg line of hypocritical Baylor leadership…Starr and McCaw DID lose their jobs as well…Briles knowingly sought out and recruited players that had been accused and convicted of physical and sexual at other universities…he covered up the shameful activities undertaken by players that did not graduate (or, according to the Sporting News, attend class)…but of course the ENTIRE Baylor community supported the actions of these “leaders” because they experienced football success like never before, and have a new stadium to pay for…

          So if Briles got shafted, so did the MANY women that ran into his players…

          You wouldn’t be the guy that runs the Board of Directors at Baylor, would you?

    • Chopper11 // April 12, 2018 at 6:49 pm //

      I disagree. Key injuries to key players tend to affect success on any team…
      He resigned some very necessary pieces to the last couple years. I agree with some he needed to do more with the running game, which undoubtedly would have helped Collaros loads

      • So what excuse are you going to use for Collaros when he stinks the joint out in Regina this year? Overrated. And overpaid. Get over it.

        • If that happens, and it could, he gets cut, takes his salary with him, and BB takes over, much as he did last year, when Glenn faltered. No problem.

        • Can’t say for Chopper11 but my response would be that “now we know he is washed up” instead of excuses.

          Makes me wonder … if Collaros returns to form, are you planning on using an excuse?

          • No. Because my Cat Fan friend that is not going to happen. Brief blip for the former TC 1.4 m dollar man in the summer of 2015…and that’s it. Eventually he will be sharing the TC Wall of Shame with Maas and Printers for former over paid TC QB’s.

          • Unlike Tom Clements, who was expendable to the Cats – right?

            Good to know your view is bulletproof. *grin*

  4. Clay Connor // April 12, 2018 at 6:39 pm //

    Can’t say I am too surprised. That front office was pretty crowded.

  5. Not a big fan of Austin. Was too pass oriented as a coach. First couple of years he did well in rebuilding the Ticats then but I think he became stale. I also think Tillman and Steinauer are the braines behind this team. Real happy that Steiner is back.

    • His refusal to run the ball was laughable at times with such lopsided play calling.

      If you’re expecting big things from Steinauer, you’re going to be badly disappointed. The guy is a little weasel who’s primary concern is setting himself up for a promotion. Relies on the same bend-and-hope-you-don’t-break defence of Rich Stubler which is a proven failure.

      • Area 51 – Agree totally. Steinauer’s plays infuriating fearful, passive Defence. During his last tenure he did this especially on game deciding 3rd and very longs. Instead of bringing pressure he let the QB stand there unpressured and gave the receivers loads of time to work downfield. Drove me absolutely bananas.

      • There was no way we were a 60 to 1 team! The players clearly were done playing for him when he resigned. Btw, can’t wait to avenge that game, and spoil Calgary’s home opener on June 16th!

    • 6ft6ofgoodness // April 14, 2018 at 9:36 pm //

      Austin’s biggest blunder was the falling out he and offensive co-ordinator Condell had weeks before the 2016 training camp, leading to the latter’s sudden resignation. Collaros’ play was affected and the Ticats’ offense hasn’t been the same since.

  6. “Consultant” is a euphemism for coffee fetch. TiCats still have to pay him so they might as well have him bumbling around the office making photocopies and bringing coffee to the braintrust.

    Austin cost Hamilton the 2014 Grey Cup with his horrible coaching. It’s like he got stage fright and was coaching scared. Settling for short FGs when they needed TDs and the ridiculous undisciplined penalties players took throughout the game. Austin was always a better GM than HC.

    • His biggest blunder was not calling a time out to rest and re-focus the troops (especially Banks) after that punt return for a TD that should have been…but wasn’t. Instead with 38 s left he sends the offence immediately onto the field…where the former TC 1.4 m dollar man proceeds to fizzle out.

      • Still dragging up games from years ago??
        Get over it.

        Remember the huge Ellingson catch in the 2015 EF, that was classic !!!

        • Hey Jiff, I always drag up stuff when a team, or for that matter, anyone, gets cheated…or screwed…and that rendition of the 2014 TC team got screwed. And who is Ellingson?

      • My memory isn’t as good … or maybe it was the distraction of pointing out the flag to my friends. Either way, I don’t remember.

        I am looking for confirmation but so far, a CFL board has other team fans commenting that Austin’s timeout at the 30 second mark, after the penalty at the 35 second mark was a mistake by Austin. Using it on the kick was supposedly better.

        I am checking for confirmation as fans have been known to be wrong. *grin*

      • Okay … I haven’t completed a full review of the 2014 GC – as is common, what you are writing plus what the CFL fans posting immediately after the game wrote has parts that are right and parts that are wrong.

        The offense did trot out to run a play with no timeout from Austin. Resting is not an issue as *Calgary* called a timeout which stopped the play after the penalty from happening.

        Austin was unhappy about plus it is unusual for the leading team to call a time out so it would seem the Calgary defense was in a bad alignment that could have resulted in a big play or some of Calgary defenders also plays on ST where a rest was important. I will have to check whether the Calgary coaches or a player on the field called Calgary’s timeout.

        It looks to me that the Cats tipped their hand when the timeout was called as three Calgary players shredded the O line to met at the same time to sack Collaros, as the next play after the timeout.

        A complete review will indicate if Austin had a time out left or not.

  7. Whoa, now there’s a twist. Any Hamilton fans see this one coming…..Philski ?

    • You have to be joking . He was one fluke play from having the Cats in 3 Grey Cups in a row .

      • Steve J. // April 12, 2018 at 9:55 pm //

        And one dodgy call away from being a Grey Cup Champion.

        • Or one nemesis Proulx call. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know for some of you that will comment that Proulx didn’t actually make the call, blah, blah, blah…but the fact of the matter is that he was there…and had the power to overturn it.

    • Yes Yup…the stars were aligned when JJ came over, and Orlando did a Doug Henning and just materialized out of nowhere.

  8. Austin was too concerned with showing up his players on the sideline and embarrassing Drew Edwards during press conferences – – if he’d put the same effort into actually formulating a decent game plan, maybe the TiCats string of futility would have been over.

    • Habsnriders // April 12, 2018 at 7:19 pm //

      Yes I agree that he lost the room and it has happened to the very best coaches in all sports but let’s not forget how he turned a very bad team into one that went to back to back grey cups . All this with no stadium or proper practice facility with players dressing in a temporary trailer . That was no small feat . Kent is a brilliant football mind and will be successful wherever he ends up

      • Grow up

      • Sea of Dead // April 13, 2018 at 7:31 pm //

        KA brilliant?? … Absolutely, NOT!!! Brilliant coaches don’t make bonehead, repetitive strategic mistakes over several seasons … Brilliant football minds want to enjoy longevity in football.
        Mitchell, his good buddy and boss, was obviously much more forgiving than most. The Caretaker must have asked Mitchell what KA has done for him lately to deserve the megabucks that they are paying him. Answer: Nada. Sent out a lot of resumes but no takers yet.

        • Karma is the big thing here my SoD friend. While the current generation of TC fans are walking around like brain dead zombies, oblivious to life and tapping on their little communication devices, they are mostly unaware that Mr. Austin once upon a time championed a team to a GC that broke the collective hearts of TC fans. For that reason I believe that he was doomed from the beginning, and, try as he might, would never bring a championship to Hamilton.

          • I seem to you cheering for his Cat team now you think he was doomed from the start?

            Sounds revisionist on your part.

            Personally – I figured the Cats were doomed in that ’89 GC game when Kerrigan and Zatylny barely missed connecting to beat the Rider blitz in something like the second quarter. I had my hopes but the rest of the game bore out my fear.

  9. solara2000 // April 12, 2018 at 7:45 pm //

    All coaches and players have a ‘shelf-life’. KA’s time had come. The challenge to having a great or even good career, is to make a difference during that span.
    KA did pretty good until last year. Also worth noting the last few years he was without his ‘marquis’ signing (ZC) either due to injury or simply not playing to his previous level of play.

  10. Did he take Fantuz with him ? Dumb signing and Bob knew it .

    • Respectfully disagree. But Fantuz joined the team under Cortez (2012)

    • Steve J. // April 12, 2018 at 9:59 pm //

      Fantuz was money anywhere over the middle. Great hands and a guaranteed 3-5 yards after the catch. He was a great signing. Andy’s only problem was Father Time. He became injury prone after he hit his 30’s, just like the rest of us.

  11. So who do Tillman, Burke et al report to now? Mitchell?
    Anyway, I’m guessing Austin winds up in Montreal. I suppose he can be hard to work with, but his track record speaks for itself and he’ll be looking for a chance to redeem himself – even if it means working for Wettenhall fils.

  12. Austin is a taskmaster, but a good coach. He demanded the best from himself, and couldn’t understand why his players didn’t share the same intensity. He took the 2007 Riders, a good, but not great, team to a GC win. He did that by getting the most out a very average QB, Kerry Joseph, by not asking him to do things that he was not capable of doing. Ditto for other guys. If you can take decent players, and help them to punch above their weight, you can build a winner.

  13. AS long as Wettehall’s fils is in charge, Mtl. will continue to be a train wreck. Austin is pretty smart…I doubt that he is stupid enough to grovel for a job, and subject himself to a no-win situation.

  14. KA is going back home to the US to coach college football. The pay is much better down there!!

  15. Ari Katz // April 12, 2018 at 9:50 pm //

    The timing of this is very suspect. Why now especially since he remained this long and we are very close to the draft? Is there a difference of opinion on bringing Manziel here? Seems very strange. I would have thought that if something like this was going to happen, it would have happened last summer. Too me this is sad. Austin has a great football mind and he is largely responsible for the turnaround of this franchise over the last several years with the exception of last year.

    • Sea of Dead // April 13, 2018 at 7:42 pm //

      … and the year before that and the year before that (need I go on).

    • It’s pretty late, but I would bet there was lots of debate about it over winter and it took a while to come to a consensus. And since it’s so late for finding a job (CFL or NCAA) the team is trying to do the classy thing and keep him around in some capacity. Though they’re probably on the hook for his salary anyway, so it’s a hollow gesture.

      Who knows, perhaps his “consulting” will result in a few recommendations that benefit the team.

  16. Well, this is going to make things interesting this summer. We won’t be able to point fingers at Kent anymore, so here’s hoping the Jone-Steinauer show can pull a rabbit out off their hat and keep the results from the 2nd half of 2017 rolling. Kent, thanks for your leadership, but I think it was time to move on.

    • With a balance offense that uses a run, not so much of a rabbit out of a hat will be needed, IMO.

      • Steve J. // April 13, 2018 at 4:55 am //

        Agreed. I think June Jones’ use of the running game made a huge difference in the latter half of the season in 2017. Some of that success may have come at the expense of a favourable 2nd half schedule, primarily against weaker teams in the league, but there were some quality wins. Let’s hope you’re right.

  17. Unless things with a CFL team totally BLOW UP somewhere or he leads the efforts in Halifax to get a CFL team I would expect Kent to be back in the NCAA or maybe even try the NFL for the right position in the NEAR FUTURE.

  18. Suffice to say it’s JJ ‘s and Orlando’s team now. Oh yeah, In Masoli We Trust.

  19. Thanks Kent for all you did.
    Football in Hamilton has been fun to watch since you arrived and turned things around. I agree with Scott. We’ll have great memories of the past years. It would have been nice to get that cup wouldn’t it.

  20. I like Austin better as a VP, and an architect of the team, a whole lot more than as a coach. He didn’t bond with his players like JJ does, and seemed to be fixated on proving HIS game plan worked, regardless of the personnel on hand. Square peg in round hole thinking. I’m sure he wants to coach, but Montreal just hired, and it’s a bit late for NCAA opportunities, so the timing is kind of odd.

    • You couldn’t be more wrong about KA, the coach. YES, he was a taskmaster that demanded attention to detail. But the square peg/round hole thing is way off base. He never asked players to do anything that was beyond their capability. In 2007, he had a QB who was actually a running back who could throw a football. He never asked KJ to play out of his comfort zone. He just wanted KJ to manage the game, and not make mistakes. And, out of the clear blue, a middle-of-the-pack team, with only average O, and a good D, won the Grey Cup.
      Then KJ got a big head, thinking he really was a MOP (Burris was more deserving, but got injured)demanded more money, and was subsequently traded to Tranna, where, without KA’s guiding hand, he crashed and burned…his career effectively over.

  21. The Ti-Cats have been dysfunctional since Austin resigned as Coach. Last year Austin destroyed himself and the team with his loyalty for Collaros, who had lost his edge and was playing not to get injured. Regardless of Collaros’s contract he was awful and Austin should’ve sat him. Collaros at his best was great, at his worst was awful.

  22. BTW, yes, his sideline rants were often over the top. But you would have to understand the man, in order to comment objectively re:this. He was a perfectionist, so it irked him when stripes made questionable, or bad, calls, thus his defining rant: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

  23. I will miss his sidelines immaturity. I found it very entertaining.

  24. This is shocking, said no Ti-Cat fan ever.

  25. 6ft6ofgoodness // April 14, 2018 at 9:39 pm //

    The beginning of the end with Austin started last season when he gave up the head coaching job, and it continues with his resignation as VP of football ops for a consulting role. He will not be employed by the Ticats after this upcoming season.

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