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Bill Austin, member of N.Y. Giants' 1956 title team, dies at 84

  • By Associated Press
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Bill Austin, a Pro Bowl offensive lineman for the New York Giants and a member of their 1956 NFL championship team, has died at his home in Las Vegas. He was 84.

Austin's playing and coaching career included stints with eight teams and spanned almost four decades.

A 13th-round draft choice for the Giants in 1949 out of Oregon State, Austin played for the team from 1949 to 50 and from 1953 to 57. He played in 75 games in his seven seasons and was a Pro Bowl guard in 1954.

Bill Austin, a member of the New York Giants' 1956 championship team, died at his home in Las Vegas, the team announced Thursday. He was 84 years old.
Bill Austin, a member of the New York Giants' 1956 championship team, died at his home in Las Vegas, the team announced Thursday. He was 84 years old. (National Football League)

In 1958, he started his coaching career at Wichita State. The following year, he became the Green Bay Packers' offensive line coach under Vince Lombardi. He held that position for six years before becoming the Los Angeles Rams' line coach in 1966.

Austin was the head coach in Pittsburgh from 1966 to 68. The Steelers were 11-28-3 during his tenure and he was replaced in 1969 by Chuck Noll, a Hall of Fame coach who held the job for 23 years and won four Super Bowls.

In 1969, Austin joined Lombardi's Washington Redskins as the offensive line coach. When Lombardi was diagnosed with cancer and had to relinquish his duties, Austin was promoted to head coach. The Redskins were 6-8 in 1970 and Austin was let go following the season.

He then coached the offensive lines for the Chicago Bears (1971), St. Louis Cardinals (1972), Redskins (1973 to 77) and Giants (1979 to 82). He concluded his career with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL (1983 to 84) and the Jets (1985).

Austin was born in San Pedro, Calif., but grew up in Oregon where he first began his football career as a high school guard. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982. He was married to Goodrun Austin for 56 years. The couple had four daughters, Barbara, Deborah, Pamela and Marietta, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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