Cornell Hires New Football Coach

Published by Kate Leist on January 27, 2010 at 3:10AM

There’s a new man in charge of the Cornell football program.

After Christmas, former Big Red coach Jim Knowles stepped down to take the defensive coordinator position at Duke, and Cornell conducted a national search for a new leader. The school found its man in Mississippi offensive coordinator Kent Austin.

The Big Red will officially present Austin in a press conference at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Knowles resigned after six seasons at the helm in Ithaca, leading his alma mater to a 26-34 overall record (16-26 in Ivy play). Cornell finished at or above .500 in three consecutive seasons (2005-2007) and finished third in the Ivy League in 2004—the first team in Ancient Eight history to follow up a winless conference season with a winning league record.

The Big Red finished in the Ivy basement last season, though, going 2-8 overall and 1-6 in conference.

Austin arrives in Ithaca after two seasons of leading the Rebel offense. In his tenure, Ole Miss recorded consecutive nine-win seasons and won two Cotton Bowls.

He will inherit a Cornell squad that finished sixth among Ancient Eight programs last year in both scoring and total offense.

Austin is the second new Ivy coach to be appointed this offseason. Princeton announced the hiring of Cincinnati Bengals assistant and Tiger alum Bob Surace on Dec. 23.

Former Princeton coach Roger Hughes was fired the day after the regular season ended.