​​​​​​​​SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY (2012-today)

After successfully rebuilding the program at Hanover College, Austin was tabbed to re-start a football program that was dormant for 62-years. One of the top liberal arts schools in the southwest region, the previous generation of Southwestern Football won back to back Sun Bowl titles in the 1940s and was a charter member of the Southwest Conference.  In the program's second year the Pirates recorded their first official win in 63 years during week 2 of the 2014 season. This win followed an international win in an exhibition against the Stuttgart Scorpions in Stuttgart Germany in May of 2014.

In 2016 Austin guided the Pirates to an undefeated 6-0 record in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The championship marked the team's first football championship since 1941 and the team's 7-3 overall record was the best in more than 70 years.

The Pirates' run to the SCAC championship included two shutout victories: 48-0 over Trinity (TX) and 35-0 over Austin College. For the year the Pirate defense ranked #2 in the NCAA in sacks and #5 in tackles for loss. As a result, 24 Pirates were named all-SCAC and the team made a sweep of the player of the year awards including Coach Austin earning coach of the year honors. Joining him was defensive end Justin Broussard (Defensive Player of the Year), wide receiver Matt Gillen (Co-Offensive Player of the Year), kick returner Nik Kelly (Special Teams Player of the Year) and kicker Luke Fierst (Newcomer of the Year). During Southwestern's shutout victory over Trinity, Broussard set an SCAC record for sacks in a game (5.5) while Gillen set an SCAC record for touchdown receptions in a game (5). 

In 2017 the Pirates joined the rugged American Southwest Conference (ASC), widely considered one of the top two conferences in the nation. Austin's Pirates performed well again, posting a 6-3 conference record (6-4 overall) while finishing third behind the #1 and #5 teams in the final regular season poll. 

During each year of Austin's tenure the Pirates have scored more points and gained more yards than the year before with 2017 being a banner year for rushing, finishing 7th in the NCAA, while finishing 9th in total offense.

Over five seasons the Pirates have placed a total of 65 players on the all-SCAC and all-ASC teams. Additonal honors include three players being named to the Team USA Freshman All-Star Team in 2014: defensive backs Nik Kelly and Deejay Johnson, as well as quarterback Bryan Hicks. Kelly was also SCAC Newcomer of the year in 2014 and SCAC Special Teams player of the year in 2015. Finishing his career as SU's most decorated player of the modern era, Broussard was named all-American in 2016 and all-South region by d3football.com in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 Nik Kelly was named all-South region by d3football.com and he completed his career as the NCAA's active leader (across all-divisions) in passes defended and second in interceptions.

Prior to the 2015 season nine Pirates were named to the USA College Football Preseason All-American Team, highlighted by Justin Broussard being named to the first team defense. Honorable mention defensive selections include: defensive backs Kelly, Johnson and Taylor Fann, as well as defensive end Alex Lee. On offense Hicks is joined by receivers Micah Sherman, Matt Gillen and running back Dylan Wilburn. 

Since 2013 Austin has been the offensive coordinator for Team Stars & Stripes in the Tazon de Estrellas. Coordinated by Global Football, the Tazon de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars in English) features an all-star team of Division III players that compete annually against the all-stars of Mexico's CONADEIP league (the premier level of scholarship football in Mexico). Overall, Austin has been named to the staff of all-star coaches seven times, posting a 4-3 record (2-2 as coordinator).

In 2016 eight Pirates joined Austin in Mexicali, Mexico for the Tazon: Bryan Hicks (QB), Dylan Wilburn (RB), Dante Smith (WR), Matt Gillen (WR), Dereck Harenda (OL), Jacob Harton (OL), Tyler Frisby (LB) and Zach Cole (LB).

According to Global Football President, Patrick Steenberge, Coach Austin is one of the most traveled American Football coaches in the world. In all, Austin has represented the United States in international competition twelve times: eight times with Team Stars & Stripes, twice with Southwestern University and once each with the University of Dubuque and Hanover College. Most recently Southwestern defeated the Ferrara Aquile in Ferrara, Italy 94-0 in May of 2017.


Austin's first head coaching job entailed the rebuilding of a program at Hanover College that had suffered four consecutive losing seasons.

After two years of building the Panthers found themselves playing in a de-facto Heartland Conference championship game for an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs in 2010. Though they fell short, the Panthers established themselves as a perennial contender in the HCAC, finishing second in Austin's final two seasons.

While at Hanover three of Austin's players won NCAA statistical championships: Tyler Thiems and Daniel Passafiume for receptions and Correy Stewart for interceptions. Stewart has since enjoyed success as a professional player in Europe and in the United States. Thiems was also named HCAC-player of the year in 2008 while quarterback Nick Sharp won Freshman of the year.

In 2009 Passafiume set the all-time, all-division record for receptions in a game with 25 against Franklin College. Watch the ESPN Clip.

The Panthers finished 9th in the NCAA in passing offense in 2009 and in 2010 15th in tackles for loss. 2011 saw them land in the top 50 in the nation in 13 statistical categories: 3rd in offensive red zone efficiency, 3rd in first downs allowed, 10th in interceptions, 18th in defensive fourth down percentage, 25th in average attendance, 25th in pass efficiency defense, 28th in total defense, 30th in passing offense, 31st in pass defense, 35th in scoring offense, 38th in defensive third down percentage, 40th in first downs and 44th in total offense. In all,  43 players earned all-HCAC, 11 new school records were established under Austin's guidance.

Four of Austin's players were selected to the Tazon de Estrellas: Matt Robinette (TE), Dexter Britt (QB), Passafiume and Justin Magaw (LB). In addtion, Austin's teams produced three all-Americans and four all-Region players, 45 all-HCAC performers, and 14 national or conference players of the week. 


​As Dubuque's offensive coordinator Austin provided the spark for a team that hadn't had a winning season in the better part of two decades to become a top 25 team. 

During Austin's time in Dubuque the Spartans posted the first back-to-back winning seasons in 28 years and the best single season record in 27. In 2007 the Spartans cracked the Top 25th in a national poll for the first time by beating three ranked teams as Austin's offense paced the IIAC in almost every category.

In Austin's first year the Spartans finished 20th in the NCAA in passing and by his last year offensive production placed them 27th in the nation in both scoring and total offense and 29th in rushing offense. 

Quarterback Jermar Jackson was a dominant performer, setting almost every passing and rushing record for the school during his three years with Austin. Jackson finished 4th in the NCAA in scoring and 7th in total offense in 2007 while finishing 9th in 2006 and 20th in 2005. He concluded his college career ranked 18th all-time in the NCAA for total offense. Jackson was named the MVP of the Aztec Bowl (the predecessor of the Tazon de Estrellas) and played professionally in Europe.

In three seasons, Austin's offense produced 15 all-IIAC players, two all-Region and two all-Americans. Eight players were selected national of conference players of the week and two players were selected to the Aztec Bowl. 


Though only a one year opportunity, as the offensive coordinator at Augsburg Austin's offense set five school records and placed three on the all-MIAC team. Prior to 2004 there was no record of Augsburg ever rushing for more than 300 yards in a game (done twice in 2004, with a best of 364), or gaining 460 yards of total offense three times in a season (with a best of 526 in 2004). 


Austin began his coaching career at Concordia as wide receiver coach (and eventually assistant offensive coordinator). During his tenure the Golden Bears grew to be NSIC Champions, earning them a birth in the Mineral Water Bowl in 2003, and enjoying the best four year period in the school's history (32-12).

The Bears were ranked in the AFCA Division II top 25 in 2001, 2002 and 2003. In 2002 they finished 7th in the NCAA in total offense and 13th in scoring. The next year they finished 6th in total offense and 20th in scoring. Seven wide receivers were a part of all-NSIC teams with Austin as their coach.


Austin was an all-Midstates Football Conference quarterback at St. Ambrose University where he established a new school record for completions in a game. In high school Austin was named all-Central Iowa Metro League where he quarterbacked the only Des Moines Roosevelt High School team to make the state playoffs in the last 30 years.


Austin has been blessed to work with talented coaches. This core group has been together for more than a decade:

Tom Ross - since 2004 (currently Associate Head Coach, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line)

Bill Kriesel - since 2004 (currently Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers)

Kenneth Eboh - since 2005 (currently Recruiting Coordinator, Defensive Line)

Learn about the 2017 Southwestern University Pirates.

As a Christian head football coach my mission is to prepare student-athletes for lifelong success as men. Specifically, as husbands, as fathers, and in their vocations.

My daily goal is to help my players maximize their God-given blessings.


The current Team



For 18 years Coach Austin has been a part of transforming college football programs.


  • 10 years head coach
  • 14 years offensive coordinator
  • Developed 134 all-conference & 15 all-American players
  • 15 international football trips
  • 5 years offensive coordinator for Team Stars & Stripes in the Tazon de Estrellas (8 years total on coaching staff)​



COACH Joe Austin

                                 2011      2010       2009       2008       2007 (pre-Austin)                  Improvement
Scoring O                               36.8        31.6        31.4        24.1        18.2                                        +18.6
Scoring D                               19.0        26.1        28.6        36.4        38.8                                        -19.8
Total O                                   429.2      382.6      346.5      345.9      282.5                                      +146.7
Total D                                    293.0      352.4      395.6      436.1      470.3                                     -177.3
Def. 1st Downs                      136         191         192         193         238                                         -102
Rushing D                              135.6      176.2      173.1      214         215.9                                      -80.3
Passing D                               167.7      192.9      225.2      222.1      254.4                                      -86.7
Minority Players                    19           17           14           4              1                                             +18
Home Attendance                  3261       2935       2402       2456       993                                          +2268
Red Zone Pct.                       88%        75%        83%        69%        67%                                       +21%

Bill Kriesel

Tom Ross

Daniel Passafiume- NCAA all-time record holder

Dexter Britt

Austin and Jermar Jackson, senior day 2007

School                    Record Pre-Austin                Record With Austin
Southwestern         No program                          13-7 .650 (2016-17)

Hanover                 4-16 .250 (2 yrs.)                  12-8 .600 (2010-11)

Dubuque                 5-35 .125 (4 yrs.)                  13-7.650 (2006-07)
Concordia               2-8 .200                                 32-12.727(2000-03)

Kenneth Eboh

Austin with Class 4A playoff trophy

                                                               2007        2006        2005        2004 (pre Austin)   Improvement
                Scoring Average                   35.2         27.2         20.6         10.1                         +25.1
                High Point Total                    63            51            49            33                            +30
                Total Offense Average          433.4       378.1       352.5       225.8                       +207.6
                Yards Per Play                       5.8           5.3           4.6           3.5                          +2.3
                Yards Per Rush                     5.2           4.5           2.4           2.6                          +2.6
                Yards Per Pass                      6.8           6.3           6.0           4.6                          +2.2
                First Downs                           219          200          214          142                          +77
                Red Zone Pct.                        85%         67%         54%        53%                        +32%​