Bill Austin (American football, born 1928)
|No. 75, 60|
|Born:||October 18, 1928|
San Pedro, California
|Died:||May 22, 2013 (aged 84)|
Las Vegas, Nevada
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||223 lb (101 kg)|
|High school:||Woodburn (OR)|
|NFL Draft:||1949 / Round: 13 / Pick: 126|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||17–36–3 (.330)|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
William Lee Austin (October 18, 1928 – May 22, 2013) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a lineman for the New York Giants for seven seasons and was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers (1966–1968) and the Washington Redskins in 1970.
Born in San Pedro, California, Austin was raised in Oregon and graduated from Woodburn High School, south of Portland. He played college football at Oregon State College in Corvallis, earning All-Coast honors as a tackle in 1948 and played in the 1949 East–West Shrine Game. He was inducted into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Selected in the thirteenth round of the 1949 NFL draft with the 126th overall pick, Austin played seven seasons with the Giants, including the 1956 title year. He missed the 1951 and 1952 seasons due to military service in the U.S. Army, stationed in San Francisco and Tokyo. He made the Pro Bowl in 1954 and retired after the 1957 season.
Austin began his coaching career at Wichita University for a season in 1958, then joined first-year head coach Vince Lombardi as offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers in 1959. Lombardi was the offensive coordinator of the Giants for the previous five seasons, including the 1956 championship year. Austin coached in Green Bay for six seasons, mentoring pulling guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston, and hall of famers Forrest Gregg and Jim Ringo. The Packers played in the NFL championship game for three consecutive seasons, with wins in 1961 and 1962.
Seeking a warmer climate for his wife's health, Austin left Green Bay after the 1964 season for the Los Angeles Rams for a season as an assistant, then became head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers at age 37 in January 1966, with a recommendation by Lombardi. He failed to produce a winning season in three seasons, finishing 11–28–3 (.298), and was fired after the 1968 season (2–11–1), succeeded by Chuck Noll.
Austin rejoined Lombardi in Washington as an assistant in 1969, then took over as interim head coach when Lombardi died of cancer before the 1970 season on September 3. Dismissed by telephone after that 6–8 season, he returned to his role as an assistant coach in the NFL (and USFL) for the remainder of his career, including a stint as offensive line coach for the Giants in the early 1980s.
Head coaching record
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|PIT||1966||5||8||1||.385||6th in Eastern Conference||–||–||–|
|PIT||1967||4||9||1||.308||4th in Century Division||–||–||–|
|PIT||1968||2||11||1||.154||4th in Century Division||–||–||–|
|WAS||1970||6||8||0||.429||4th in NFC East||–||–||–|
- Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
- Goldstein, Richard (May 31, 2013). "Bill Austin, 84, Pro Bowl lineman, dies". New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- Eisen, Michael (May 30, 2013). "Remembering former OL & coach Bill Austin". New York Giants. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- "Bill Austin – former Oregon State standout, NFL player and coach – dies at 84". The Oregonian. Portland. Associated Press. May 31, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- Sell, Jack (January 21, 1966). "Bill Austin new Steeler coach". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
- "Bill Austin". Las Vegas Review-Journal. (obituary). May 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- "Student life: Phi Delta Theta – famous alumni". Oregon State University. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- "Bill Austin back with grid Giants". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. February 8, 1953. p. 44.
- Lea, Bud (January 14, 1965). "Austin quits, cites family health problem". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
- "Austin takes job as Rams' line coach". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. January 16, 1965. p. 2, part 2.
- "Austin, ex-Packer aide, Steeler coach". Milwaukee Sentinel. wire services. January 21, 1966. p. 2, part 2.
- "Lombardi picks Bill Austin as assistant with Redskins". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. February 11, 1969. p. 20.
- "Allen replaces Bill Austin; Cardinals dismiss Winner". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. W-P. January 7, 1971. p. 13.
- Lowitt, Bruce (January 7, 1971). "George Allen replaces Bill Austin as Redskin coach". The Day. New London, Connecticut. Associated Press. p. 25.
- O'Brien, Jim (January 3, 1982). "Ex-Steeler Austin finally feels victory thrill". Pittsburgh Press. p. D6.