The Baltimore Ravens have hired Teryl Austinas their new secondary coach, head coach John Harbaugh announced Friday afternoon.
A 20-year coaching veteran, including seven seasons as a defensive backs coach in the NFL with Arizona and Seattle, Austin, 45, served as Florida's defensive coordinator in 2010. He became available after Urban Meyer resigned as the Gators' head coach.
"I have a long relationship with Teryl, going back to 1987 when I was a graduate assistant at Pitt, and he was one of our top players and team leaders," Harbaugh stated. "He's an outstanding teacher and motivator who has been successful in both the NFL and at the college level. His intelligence and experience will add to our defensive mix.
"Knowing Teryl had other opportunities, we're very happy that he decided to become a Raven. We think our players will both improve under his direction and enjoy playing for him. He has helped two teams – the Cardinals and the Seahawks – reach the Super Bowl. That's a good addition to our staff."
With Austin at the helm of Florida's defense this past season, the Gators recorded 22 interceptions, fourth most in the nation. Returning four of those thefts for touchdowns, Florida also produced the most interception return yards (538), while Ahmad Black ranked No. 1 individually with 171 yards. In conference games, the Gators led the SEC in total defense, yielding just 310.8 yards per game, including 175.5 through the air.
"This is another great opportunity to work for a class organization with outstanding coaches and players," Austin said. "I couldn't ask for anything better, and I'm excited to get to work. My goal is to do whatever I can to help the team and help the players get better. The Baltimore defense has set a high standard, and it's my job to uphold that standard and help the players be at their best. I'm excited to enter a situation with great players who play in a great scheme, knowing they take a lot of pride in what they are doing."
Coaching three seasons (2007-09) with the Cardinals, Austin mentored 2008 first-round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who led the Cardinals with four interceptions during the regular season and added two more in the playoffs during Arizona's run to Super Bowl XLIII. In 2007, Austin's secondary helped the Cardinals lead the NFL in interception returns for touchdowns (six) and in return yardage (551).
During his time in Seattle (2003-06), Austin played a key role in the development of the Seahawks' young secondary, which was comprised mostly of draft choices. Mentoring Marcus Trufant (first round, 2003), Ken Hamlin (second round, 2003), Michael Boulware (second round, 2004) and Kelly Jennings (first round, 2006), Seattle produced 67 interceptions during Austin's four seasons, tying for the NFL's 10th most in that span.
Prior to joining the Seahawks, Austin was an assistant for 12 years on the collegiate level, where he also coached defensive backs. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Penn State (1991-92) before heading to Wake Forest (1993-95), Syracuse (1996-98) and Michigan (1999-2002).
A three-year starter and four-year letterman at Pittsburgh (1984-87), Austin earned his bachelor's degree in communications. After graduating, he attended training camps of the Washington Redskins and Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) before playing for the Montreal Machine of the World League of American Football in 1991.
A native of Sharon, Pa., Austin and his wife, April, have five children: sons Tyler, Trey and Torin, and daughters Alexa and Alivia.
TERYL AUSTIN COACHING BACKGROUND
Years Team Position2011 Baltimore Ravens Secondary Coach
2010 Florida Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks
2007-09 Arizona Cardinals Defensive Backs
2003-06 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs
1999-2002 Michigan Defensive Backs
1996-98 Syracuse Defensive Backs
1993-95 Wake Forest Defensive Backs
1991-92 Penn State Graduate Assistant