Article: Where have you gone, Kent Austin

According to Mitchell, Austin is living in his hometown of Brentwood, Tenn., where he played high school football at Brentwood Academy. He said he has returned to Hamilton “a couple of times? since his resignation, but other team employees could only recall seeing him once — on July 28, when the Ticats hosted the Ottawa Redblacks. Mitchell hopes the retired quarterback will be back in the city another time or two before the end of this season, likely during the playoffs. He also said Austin “felt like it was time to get back down to the States and take a deep breath, and this was a good opportunity to do that while still being part of the organization.?

  1. His job description is pretty straightforward

When asked to explain what Austin does in his role as a consultant, the Ticats CEO said he helps in any way the organization needs him to, “but mostly that entails he and I having an ongoing relationship and discussion.? So, that’s it? You just talk to him? “That’s it. When I need a voice or an ear and I have someone to chat about, we have a good chat.? Recent topics include the potential impact the startup Alliance of American Football and players on the team’s negotiation list. Mitchell also went on to say Austin communicates regularly with assistant general manager Shawn Burke and GM Eric Tillman, and he “wouldn’t be surprised if he’s had a chat or two with some of the players.? That said, he’s unequivocally hands off where coaching is concerned.

  1. But, it could evolve in the future

Twice during our conversation, Mitchell said the Ticats would like Austin to do some scouting for the team. That could happen as early as this fall. As for whether his job description could further evolve, he said everything from “I think he’s in a good space? and “It’s up to Kent? to “He does what we need him to do, and at the same time he might end up doing more on a going forward basis.? Pressed to clarify, Mitchell added: “He and I talk all the time about what he wants to do next, and I think he’s thinking about whether he wants to coach and where that would be. He’s got lots of opportunities in the States, both in college and pro football, so he’s taking his time working that out.?

  1. He is still being paid his old salary

Austin signed a contract extension in early 2016 to remain the Ticats head coach, general manager and vice-president of football operations through the end of the 2019 season. Since the team is a private business it does not publicly disclose compensation, however, it is fair to assume the four-time Grey Cup winner made significantly more in his triple role than June Jones, who recently disclosed he was paid $100,000 in his first half-season as head coach alone. So, likely north of $250,000 per campaign. Whatever the number, Mitchell confirmed Austin is receiving his full pay for the duration of his contract term.

  1. He deserves some R&R

Mitchell called Austin’s move an opportunity to “take a deep breath? twice in our conversation and said he hopes the veteran coach is “putting his feet up a little bit, just taking some time out.? Why? Is everything OK? It appears so. While Mitchell wouldn’t answer any questions about Austin’s health, he did caution against reading anything into his comments. He simply means Austin did a lot of great things in Hamilton — everything from getting Jones here, to re-signing several big name free agents in the off-season — and deserved to move into a consulting role with a little less day-to-day stress.

In short, he is restfully living out his big fat severance pay on a leash, the remainder of his contract.

Where do you sign up? Good for him and good on the Cats for honouring his contract and not making him hang around.

Ah, Spectator.

Gleefully held the door open as Austin was shown out,
passive aggressive cheap shots occaisonally over time.
Media relations are cozy and comfortable now.
Jones put his stamp on team.
Austin’s firmly in the past.
Everybody offended would be over it by now, right?
Think that would be the end of the whole Austin/media thing, right?


Kinda wondered the point of this article...

Staff members of the front office recall seeing him once? So?

Can't get an update on sinkfield until the day he signs after weeks of fan speculation. Saunders injury doesn't get updated for weeks...

But the whereabouts of Kent Austin is worth the time of the president of the organization the day before a game during the playoff stretch?

Answering questions no one asked or cared about. Intelligent fans knew he got a golden parachute and consultant title was in name only and we all were fine with it. Just business.
Whole smart ass tenor of the story is so Edwards .
Pecoskie has picked up his ball and is running with it.

I’m not sure what you two are so riled up about. Seems like a fairly reasonable thing to report on.

Cite ONE other Spec article that size chronicling the post coaching life complete with living standards of an ex coach still under contract who has been out of the picture this long.

Taaffe? Nope, Bellefeuille ? nope, Cortez? Nope.

This story has been coming or awhile. Pecoskie had a ton of notes given to her to get this project done.Wonder whose.

Bravo, Spec, you showed him.

To me, it makes sense to write a follow up article on the longest tenured, most successful head coach in recent years. None of those other guys you mentioned were given "Consultant" titles on the way out the door, they just left. There was no need to worry about what they were up to, as they were no longer employees of the team. I was genuinely curious about what Kent was up to these days.

You really think that story took a ton of notes? It's 700 words, most of which are just quotes from Scott Mitchell. This wasn't major investigate journalism. Just a quick update on the most significant figure in Ticat football in the last 5-10 years.

While you may be right... The article comes under the backdrop of "players slam Austin, won't return if he's part of the organization" as the previous story about him.

Also, asking office employees how often they've seen him in the office seems like a witch hunt to me.

Pro or con Austin…

hard to believe someone can read this and think it’s a simple “catching up with Kent Austin” type article.

Simply reeks of agenda.

I believe I once read something about Greg Marshall and his post Ti-Cat career at Western? Was that in the Spec? If so, does that qualify?

Thanks alot. I had all but erased the Greg Marshall/Dave Sauve/Rob Katz era from my memory.

i find the article relevant because i am wondering if June Jones has gained enough experience to get this team through the most important stretch of the season and
into the Grey Cup. Austin certainly understood the nuiances of the Canadian game and got this team rolling and into two Grey Cups - It wasnt always pretty but he willed '13 and '14 teams into the GC. I think we are there if the running game stays strong, the kicker is good and the coaches don’t out coach themselves and mis- manage games.

Also find Mitchell’s comments to lack substance and honesty as usual. He is best to keep quiet and lay low as his management team has caused enough damage over the last two yeats,

I think this article suggests Austin wasnt all there mentally the last year and a bit and I dont think he got much help from those around him in senior management nor did he want it. We all suffered.

I wish Kent well and parts of me will miss is intricate knowledge of the Canadian Game going into the final stretch and playoff run. Lets hope Jones has figured it out.

The comments by Mitchell lack substance because there is nothing to say. Since Austin and Mitchell were really thick, Kent was spared the indignity of being outright fired. The consultant title is trivial at best. Mitchell tells all you need to know in the article. Austin is chilling and occasionally Mitchell calls him for an opinion or to see how he’s doing.

Nothing to see here. Now let’s get back to Masoli and Sinkfield. ;D

The article was not about Speedy.

What people don’t seem to realize, is that coaches, especially head coaches, GMs, team executives, and the like are considered “under contract” for the entire length of the contract; regardless if they continue to be employed by the team or not. That means that Kent would still be paid if he was fired outright.

Keeping him on as a consultant, the team can (and it seems to have) continue to rely on his experience. You can’t do that if you fire the guy.

IIRC, the only way for a team to NOT continue paying a (still under contract) fired coach is if he (or she) gets a coaching job for another CFL team. The coach would be under a new contract, and their prior one is terminated.

Of course, the team can fire a coach and either bite the bullet by continuing his salary until the expiration of the contract, or buy him out (if that option is in a clause).

I’ll give you that one, Speedy is equally important. Although Kent was the guy that brought him in I believe.

He will be a head coach again, somewhere, if he wants to be probably. He could even end up a head coach with the cats sometime down the road as stop gap interim or something. I doubt it, but it is possible… Sports are funny like that. He did go to two straight cups before he wore out his welcome…