January 26, 2010

Cornell to Name Kent Austin as Head Football Coach

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Kent Austin will be Cornell’s 26th football coach, the Athletics Department confirmed today, replacing Jim Knowles ’87 as the Roger J. Weiss ’61 Head Coach of Football.

Austin was offensive coordinator at the University of Mississippi for the past two seasons, the same school at which Knowles was defensive coordinator before coming to Cornell. In 2009, the Rebels were tied for No. 39 in the country in scoring offense with 32.9 points per game.

In his first year after taking over as offensive coordinator, Austin’s 2008 squad ranked No. 28 in the country with 32.1 points per game, up from 20.1 the prior year.

The University will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. tomorrow to announce the signing.

Knowles resigned on Dec. 23 to take the defensive coordinator job at Duke University. The team was 2-8 in his last season as head coach, and finished No. 6 on offense and No. 7 in defense in the Ivy League.

Players said Ron Vanderlinden, the linebackers coach at Penn State, was another final candidate, but they were told last week that Austin was the frontrunner.

Original Author: Keenan Weatherford