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Stetson hires former Tarpon coach Atif Austin as assistant

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Wed. July 10, 2013 | Bob Putnam | Email

Stetson hires former Tarpon coach Atif Austin as assistant

Stetson hired former Tarpon Springs coach Atif Austin as an assistant for its first-year football program.

Austin was dismissed as Spongers coach four games into the 2011 season. He finished 7-8 in two seasons, including a first-round playoff loss in 2010.

Austin filled the only vacancy left on the Hatters’ staff, replacing Kareem Bacon as running backs coach.

“Atif is an outstanding addition to our staff,” Stetson coach Roger Hughes said in a statement. “His experiences, both as a player and coaching running backs at FCS playoff programs, made him a very attractive candidate. He is also a skilled special teams coach.”

Austin played for the Spongers in the late 1990s. As a senior in ’97, he rushed for 1,995 yards and 16 touchdowns and was named the Times' Pinellas County player of the year. That same year he also rushed for a school-record 368 yards in a game against Springstead that clinched a playoff berth.

He went on to become a four-year starter as a defensive back at Iowa State, finishing with 173 career tackles.

After graduating from ISU, Austin enrolled in Southwest Minnesota State's graduate program and, as a graduate assistant, worked with the football team's secondary the first year and with the inside linebackers in 2004.

In 2005, Austin took on his first assistant coaching position at the University of Northern Iowa, working with running backs. Austin helped senior running back David Horne set UNI's single-season rushing touchdown record (17).

He spent five seasons as UNI's running backs coach and added special teams duties to his role in his final season there before returning to Tarpon Springs to become head coach.

“His experience both playing and coaching at Tarpon Springs High School will further strengthen our recruiting ties within the state,” Hughes said. “I am very excited by the opportunity to work with him.”

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