Michael Austin - Kent State Golden Flashes

Discussion in 'Extreme Makeover' started by majesty95, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. majesty95

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    KENT, Ohio --- Kent State University announced the hiring of its new head football coach, Michael Austin, on Wednesday. The hiring comes after previous head coach Darrell Hazell left to accept the head coaching position at Purdue University.

    Austin, 35, becomes the second youngest head coach in Division I football behind Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury (33). Unlike Kingsbury, Austin has no prior coordinating experience (nor head coaching experience) before being hired.

    The former North Carolina graduate spent the past two seasons working as the quarterbacks coach under Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia. Prior to that, Austin had coached receivers (2007-09) and quarterbacks (2010) at Navy under Ken Niumatalolo and safeties (2005-06) at TCU under Gary Patterson. Austin began his coaching career at North Carolina where he spent three years as a graduate assistant (2000-02) and two years as the safeties coach (2003-04).

    Austin arrived at North Carolina in 1996 as an unheralded safety prospect out of Fort Worth, Texas. For two years, Austin saw limited action for the Tar Heels. Then head coach Mack Brown was not known to give underclassmen significant playing time while he was at Carolina.

    Brown left to take the head coaching job at Texas folling the 1997 season and North Carolina promoted defensive coordinator Carl Torbush to head coach. During the Torbush era, Austin became a leader for the Tar Heels and led the team in special teams tackles in 1998 and '99. In 1999, Austin was named special teams captain for the Tar Heels and earned All-ACC honorable mention as a special teams player.

    While Austin has no official head coaching or coordinator experience, he has earned praise from his former employers for his "bright" football mind and his work ethic and enthusiasm. Austin stated when he arrived on campus that the Kent State football team would inherit those same characteristics. When addressing the media, Austin said that no team would play with more intensity or work harder than his Golden Flashes.

    Austin will get his chance to prove that when Kent opens the season on August 29.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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  2. majesty95

    majesty95 Show class, have pride, and display character.

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    Kent State Football - 2013 Season Preview
    Head coach Michael Austin takes over a Kent State team that set a school record for victories (11) a year ago and appeared in their first ever MAC Championship Game. The Golden Flashes return all-purpose star Dri Archer as well as bruising halfback Trayion Durham and star defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix. However, Kent State has only 11 returning starters (6 offense, 5 defense) and will be installing a new offense and defense. How well the team fares this year will be dependent on how well Austin and his staff do adjusting the players to the new schemes.

    Offense
    Archer is the star and will be the focal point of the offense. However, Durham provides an alternative to Archer who can line up in the backfield along with Dri. Austin has said that the new offense will feature plenty of formations with Archer and Durham on the field together. The former Navy assistant even said you could expect some fleXbox One and triple option this year.


    At quarterback, David Fisher takes over what the coaching staff hopes will be a "game manager" role. Fisher's primary duty will be to hand the ball off or get it to Archer in open space. Austin has said that the less the quarterback has to do in the offense, the better it means the team is playing overall. Fisher is a big QB (6-1 225) but doesn't play nearly as physical as his frame would suggest. He does have a decent arm, though, and displayed good accuracy in the spring. Fisher is certainly capable of moving the chains and as long as he isn't forced into winning games by himself, the Flashes should be in capable hands.

    Another key offensive player is receiver Josh Boyle. While small in stature (5-9 170), Boyle makes up for his size with great quickness and speed. Boyle will be expected to take the focus off of Archer and provide a secondary option for Fisher in the passing game. Tight end Casey Price (6-4 235) is another receiving option that will be utilized heavily in the offense. Although Archer is the focal point, there are enough secondary weapons to keep teams honest on defense and prevent them from keying on Archer specifically.

    Defense

    Kent State will also draw from Austin's prior experience on defense as the team is switching to a 4-2-5 this year. The idea is to get more speed on the field and help the team defend against the pass which they didn't do well last year. Austin learned the defense while at TCU under Gary Patterson and hopes to bring a similar level of success to northern Ohio.

    The key to a good 4-2-5 defense (outside of the safety play) is a good front line to contain the run and the Golden Flashes have that. The defensive line is led by tackle Roosevelt Nix, an All-American candidate. While Nix doesn't posses elite size (5-11 245), he makes up for it with great speed and technique. Nix has used his unique skill set to rack up 20.5 sacks and 52 tackles for a loss in his career at Kent State, ranking among the Top 5 all-time in both categories.

    Nix will be joined on the line by fellow seniors Richard Gray (6-2 260) at tackle with Mark Fackler (6-3 255) and Zack Hitchens (6-1 240) at end. The all senior defensive line will give the unit a great deal of experience and should help take some of the load off of the linebackers and secondary as they learn their new roles.

    Safety is the perhaps the most important position in the 4-2-5 and the Golden Flashes have a couple of good ones returning. Free safety Calvin Tiggle was the starter a year ago before suffering a season-ending injury. He will be back this year and pair up with senior Luke Wollett, an All-MAC 2nd teamer a year ago, at strong safety. Wollett has 10 career interceptions which ranks 9th on the school's all-time list. Their experience will help to solidify a unit that had trouble stopping the pass for much of last year.

    The main concern for the coaching staff is the other safety position. The 4-2-5 utilizes three safeties (a free, a weak and a strong). The weak safety position is the one that concerns the coaching staff the most. There is not a clear cut favorite for the position and there is not a lot of experience (due to the team utilizing a 4-3 prior to Austin's arrival). The leading candidate is senior Fabrice Pratt who has great speed but not much experience otherwise. Whoever winds up as the starter here will play a big role in the success of the defense as a whole.

    Outlook

    Matching the team's 11 wins from a year ago might be a lot to ask of Austin in his first season. Kent had only 10 combined wins the previous two years and hadn't had a winning season since 2006 prior to last year. While there is still talent left over from a year ago, there is a lot of inexperience and new schemes on both sides of the ball that the players have to learn. Another winning season should be the expectation, but most likely in the 6-8 win range.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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  3. majesty95

    majesty95 Show class, have pride, and display character.

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    Michael Austin Pres Conference

    "I want to start by saying that I am happy to be the head coach here at Kent State University. There has been some speculation as to my possibly leaving the program or pursuing other opportunities. I am not going to be one of those coaches that sits here and tells you I'm 100% committed to a team and then a few weeks later I'm gone. That's not who I am. Following our bowl game with Navy, I did put feelers out to see what kind of opportunities were out there. That's not an indictment on this university, the football program, its fans or the community. It was simply about exploring my options.

    I believe life is about choices and opportunities. Like any other profession, if the possibility of more resources or higher earning potential comes your way you want to explore that. However, my choice is to be here at Kent State and I appreciate the opportunity that they have given me. I am 100% committed to this team and this university and want to continue to build upon what we have going here.

    I know a lot of people in the media and the like think that jobs at non-BCS schools are simply stepping stones to better opportunities. While that is certainly the case a high percentage of the time, it is not a guarantee. I'm not sure that Bill Snyder or Frank Beamer thought that they had landed their "dream job" when they took over the small, mostly overlooked programs at Kansas State and Virginia Tech. However, they found success at those small schools and built them each into Top 15-20 programs and became the longest tenured coaches in the division. You never really know how things will turn out and you can't try to predict them.

    My focus is on continuing to shape this program and building upon the success that we have seen here the past two seasons. This program has 20 wins over the past two years. Powerhouse schools like Texas and USC cannot even say that. We want to continue that success through hard work and recruiting.

    I've been asked about recruiting and if the fact that I looked at other opportunities will negatively effect that process. I say no. I believe that honesty and integrity are the fundamental building blocks to any relationship. I don't promise these kids that I will be here in 4-5 years because you never know what will happen. I promise these kids that they are coming to a great university to get a quality education. I promise them that they will be given every opportunity to succeed. I promise them that the university will be committed to their long-term success regardless of the name on the desk in the head coach's office. I promise them opportunity and commitment to improving themselves both on and off the field and I promise to help them in any way that I can regardless of where I may be employed. The choice is theirs.

    I look forward to this season and working with the returning talent that we have and working with the new guys that will be arriving this summer. I look forward to bringing in more quality young men to the university and I look forward to continuing upon two fantastic seasons here at the university. Thank you."
     
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  4. majesty95

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    Kent State Football - 2014 Season Preview

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