The Riders announced today that Kent Austin is the new coach. Perhaps this was one of the worst kept secrets; my buddy Bob that works at Global TV in Regina made the call on this during the playoffs. Speculation was that the Riders had to win the Grey Cup for Danny Barrett to keep his job. Looks like all the speculation was correct.
I am happy to see Austin as the new coach. I think his desire to be successful will help the team move to the next level. I want a home playoff game as well, but I want a Grey Cup more. I think that with Austin's arrival it will be enough of a shakeup of the old guard to motivate them to perform better. Yes, there will be some player transition, but Tillman is already signing the key players for the future. Both him and Austin will have their stamp in the team before long.
Tillman also deserves a lot of credit for the way the Danny Barrett situation was handled. He allowed Barrett to leave with his head high and the whole affairs was a classy effort on the part of Tillman, Barret and the Rider organization.
Back to Austin...his experience on offense, both as a elite quarterback and as an offensive coordinator is needed. Working with Kerry Joseph and Jason Armstead in Ottawa also will help.
2007 will be the Rider's year.