Ex-Giant Bill Austin, 84, dies

Washington Redskins coaches, top row from left, Ralph

Washington Redskins coaches, top row from left, Ralph Hawkins; Bill Austin and Lavern Torgeson, and bottom row from left, head coach George Allen and Charlie Waller pose for a photo in Carlisle, Pa. (Credit: AP, 1973)

Bill Austin, a Pro Bowl guard for the Giants in 1954 and a member of the Giants' 1956 NFL championship team, died this week at his home in Las Vegas, the team announced Thursday. He was 84.

Austin was a 13th-round draft choice of the Giants in 1949 and played for the team in 1949 and 1950 and again from 1953 to 1957. After his playing career, he went into coaching. He was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, 1966-68, before being replaced by future Hall of Famer Chuck Noll. He later replaced another Hall of Famer when he was elevated from assistant to head coach of the Washington Redskins after Vince Lombardi was diagnosed with cancer in 1970. He held that position for one season.

Austin went on to be an assistant coach with six more teams, including the Giants, 1979-82, the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, 1983-84, and the Jets in 1985.

Austin played at Oregon State and was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

Austin was married to Goodrun Austin for 56 years, and the couple had four daughters -- Barbara, Deborah, Pamela and Marietta -- five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Services were yesterday at Palm Mortuary-Northwest, 6701 N. Jones Blvd., Las Vegas.

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