Patriots Hire New Assistant Coach
The New England Patriots have been the best team in the NFL for almost two decades, thanks to head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, who are both considered to be the greatest at their positions.
Last season, the Patriots failed to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers with six Super Bowl wins, thanks to the resilient Philadelphia Eagles, who defeated them in the Super Bowl.
Despite their loss, The Patriots odds for this season have them as the favorite to win the Super Bowl once again.
With all the success the franchise has had since Belichick took the job, the Patriots tend to lose a few assistant coaches every year because the people Belichick hires are usually poached by other teams hoping to replicate their success.
On Monday, the Patriots announced that they have signed former North Dakota State assistant coach Atif Austin, who was the wide receivers coach at the school.
According to head coach Chris Klieman, Belichick called Austin on Friday and offered him a job as the team’s running backs coach. Even though Austin’s move means that North Dakota State needs to find a new replacement, Klieman said he couldn’t be happier for his former assistant.
Klieman said it was a big opportunity for Austin and wished him well, also thanking him for the job he did while he was at the school.
With Austin now in New England, North Dakota State will be looking for a new assistant coach, and are hoping they will be able to land one with ties to Florida, like Austin had.
Austin helped the team recruit players like Tre Dempsey, Bruce Anderson, Connor Wentz, Chris Board, and Josh Hayes, who helped the team defeat James Madison for the Division I FCS championship last season.
Klieman commended Austin for his recruiting skills, and added that he plans to continue recruiting in Florida.
Austin’s move to New England will be the third coaching change the team has undergone in the last two years. Courtney Messingham took over as the team’s offensive coordinator after former offensive coordinator Tim Polasek was named the offensive line coach at Iowa.
Buddha Williams took over as the defensive ends coach after Jamar Cain was hired by Fresno State. Despite the recent departures, Klieman has done a great job keeping his staff together.
Defensive line coach Nick Goeser, tight ends coach Tyler Roehl, offensive line coach Conor Riley, defensive coordinator Matt Entz, defensive backs coach Joe Klanderman and quarterbacks coach Randy Hedberg have all been with Klieman since he took the head coaching job in 2014.
Like Belichick with the Patriots, North Dakota State’s recent success will make their assistants and head coach hot commodities, especially if they continue to win.
With the Patriots, Austin will be an assistant running backs coach under Ivan Fears, who has been with the Patriots for 21 years. Fears has been coaching for 42 years, so he has a lot of knowledge he can share with Austin.
Austin played collegiately at Iowa State, where he was a four-year starter. He was the running backs coach for Northern Iowa for five years, and spent one year coaching the same position at Stetson University before taking the job at North Dakota State.

Chris Klieman
* AFCA Board of Trustees 2018-present
* 2017 Bruce Craddock MVFC Coach of the Year
* 2014, 2016, 2017 Eddie Robinson Award Finalist
* 2014 Rawlings Football/American Football Monthly FCS Coach of the Year
* 2012 Football Scoop FCS Coordinator of the Year

Career Stats and Positions

Year Team Position Overall Conference NCAA Playoffs
1991 Northern Iowa Graduate Assistant
1992 Northern Iowa Graduate Assistant
1993 Northern Iowa Assistant Coach
1994 Western Illinois Assistant Coach
1995 Western Illinois Assistant Coach
1996 Western Illinois Assistant Coach
1997 Kansas Graduate Assistant
1999 Missouri State Assistant Coach
2002 Loras Defensive Coordinator
2003 Loras Defensive Coordinator
2004 Loras Defensive Coordinator
2005 Loras Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
2006 Northern Iowa Assistant Coach
2007 Northern Iowa Assistant Coach
2008 Northern Iowa Co-Defensive Coordinator
2009 Northern Iowa Defensive Coordinator
2010 Northern Iowa Defensive Coordinator
2011 North Dakota State Assistant Coach 14-1 7-1 MVFC (1st, tie) FCS Champion
2012 North Dakota State Defensive Coordinator 14-1 7-1 MVFC (1st) FCS Champion
2013 North Dakota State Defensive Coordinator 15-0 8-0 MVFC (1st) FCS Champion
2014 North Dakota State Head Coach 15-1 7-1 MVFC (1st, tie) FCS Champion
2015 North Dakota State Head Coach 13-2 7-1 MVFC (1st, tie) FCS Champion
2016 North Dakota State Head Coach 12-2 7-1 MVFC (1st, tie) FCS Semifinalist
2017 North Dakota State Head Coach 14-1 7-1 MVFC (1st) FCS Champion


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