Austin's Future Uncertain

Teryl Austin knows he might be looking for a new job in a few days. He could be forced to make a quick move to another city as a defensive coordinator or a secondary coach. That hasn't stopped his tenacity on the practice field this week. With a life altering decision coming in only days, Austin feels like he owes it to his players to coach with the same intensity as the beginning of the season.

"It doesn't change anything," Teryl Austin said after Thursday's practice. "When you sign up in this profession, you sign up to help young men get better. It doesn't matter what the situation is."

Austin said new head coach Will Muschamp hasn't informed the current staff of who will be retained and who will be let go. Most of the assistants hit the recruiting trail with Muschamp soon after he was hired, but Muschamp won't announce any of his assistants until Saturday's Outback Bowl is over.

The only plan Austin has after the bowl game is attending his daughter's soccer game on Sunday in Orlando.

"This is the first time I've ever been some place for a year," Austin said. "It's part of our profession. When you sign up as a coach, sometimes that's the bad of it. You have to pick up and move your family.

"Right now, I'm employed at the University of Florida. Until somebody tells me otherwise, that's what I'm planning on doing."

It wouldn't be tough for Austin to regret coming to Florida. He took over as the defensive coordinator for one year and was in a tough position. The Florida offense struggled throughout the year and put even more pressure on the defense to pick up the slack. When they were worn out late in the game, opposing offenses had success.

The toughest part for Austin is that he gave up his job as the defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals to come to Florida. Now, he could be out of a job in only days.

"The one thing I never do is say, 'I wish I would have.' It would be great (to stay at Florida)," Austin said. "I came here in the first place. It was great to be here with guys I know, especially Steve (Addazio). But it was the university that was the big selling point for me. The type of football here and playing in the SEC was the selling point for me."

If Austin is out of a job, his name has been rumored at Texas. It was mentioned weeks ago as the potential defensive coordinator, but he could gain interest as a defensive backs coach if there is an opening.

"I know some guys on the staff, and when it came open, there was a, "would you be interested if you're not (at Florida)?" If I'm not here, then we'll find out then," Austin said. "Until then, there's really nothing to talk about."

The Outback Bowl pins the Gators against Penn State, which is where Austin's coaching career began. He was a graduate assistant at Penn State from 1991-1992 before being named the defensive backs coach at Wake Forest in 1993.

Because of the age and tenure of some Penn State coaches, Austin was able to say hello to some familiar faces earlier in the week.

"It's kind of neat to have an opportunity to work against guys that you greatly respect," Austin said. "They're guys who do it the right way, and that's why they've sustained success for so long. It's not accident. You get good players who do things the right way, and you're going to have success over time."

There was a time this week when Austin was unsure if he would be on the sideline for Saturday's game. He spent Monday night in the hospital while undergoing tests for stomach pains. He was diagnosed with gastritis, which is the inflammation in the lining of the stomach.

"They just wanted to make sure I was alright," Austin said. "Their deal, as it should be, is on the game. I missed a day or so, but I was in the meetings. We've got quality coaches on our staff that know how to run things. We didn't miss a beat. It was all about what we had to do to get ready for Saturday.

"It felt bad enough for me to go. I normally don't go, but I'm getting a little older so I need to go and take care of myself."

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