Skip to content

Teryl Austin

Cumulative stats (All positions)

Years Coached Record Win % Playoff record Playoff win %
15 140-100-0 58.33% 12-9 57.14%


Teryl Austin is a football coach in the National Football League (NFL) working as the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. He held this position since 2018. Prior to this season, he coached for fourteen seasons for the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, and Detroit Lions. His most recent position was with the Lions as their defensive coordinator.

Playing Career

University of Pittsburgh

Teryl Austin played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh as a safety from 1984-1987. During his time with Pittsburgh, he won four athletic letters and started three seasons.

Professional Aspirations

After college, Austin attended the offseason training camps of the Washington Redskins and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before settling on playing for the Montreal Machine of the World League of the American Football (WLAF) for the 1991 season.

Coaching Career

College Coaching

Penn State University

After the spring season of the WLAF, Austin began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for Penn State under head coach Joe Paterno. During his time at Penn State, he met Jim Caldwell who was currently coaching the quarterbacks for the university.

Wake Forest University

At the conclusion of the 1992 season, Caldwell was hired as the head coach of Wake Forest University. Austin joined his coaching staff as the defensive backs coach for the Demon Deacons. From 1993-1995, Austin coached the defensive backs for the university. However, the team never posted a winning record during his three years at the school.

Syracuse University

After his tenure at Wake Forest, Austin accepted a position to coach the defensive backs at Syracuse under head coach Paul Pasqualoni. During his three years at Syracuse (1996-1998), the Orange won or tied for three Big East championships, the first three conference championships in school history.

Michigan University

Austin was hired by the Michigan Wolverines in 1999 under head coach Lloyd Carr to continue coaching defensive backs. From 1999 through 2002, the Wolverines won a Big Ten championship in 2000 with two Top-10 finishes in the AP poll.

The beginning of his NFL career

Seattle Seahawks

Before the 2003 season, Austin made the jump to the NFL. Hired by the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Mike Holmgren, he continued to coach defensive backs. His secondary during this stretch of time was comprised of many young players, many of them drafted during his tenure with the Seahawks. The team experienced substantial success during the four seasons Austin was coaching the Seahawks secondary. The team made the playoffs all four season, making a Super Bowl appearance in 2005.

Arizona Cardinals

In 2007, Austin joined his second NFL coaching staff, joining the Arizona Cardinals and new head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Austin's brief stay with the Cardinals was one of the most successful periods in franchise history: first winning season (2008) since 1998. First back-to-back winning seasons since 1974-1976. The first championship game appearance since 1947. In 2009, three of the four starting defensive backs (Antrel Rolle, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson) earned Pro Bowl appearances.

Brief return to college

University of Florida

Austin received his first opportunity to run a defense in 2010 when he was hired as defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators. During his lone season in Florida he also coached the Gator's cornerbacks. The Gators' season ended at 8-5, with a victory in the Outback Bowl. At the end of the season, head coach Urban Meyer resigned, and Austin returned to the NFL.

Return to the NFL

Baltimore Ravens

In 2011, Austin was hired by the Baltimore Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh. Austin had first met Harbaugh at the beginning of both of their football careers'. Harbaugh was a coach for Pittsburgh while Austin was playing for the Panthers. Hired by the Ravens to coach the secondary, the Ravens had a very successful run behind the strength of the defense. During his time coaching the Ravens defensive backs, they defended more passes than any other team in the NFL. In 2011, the Ravens allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the league, and in 2012 the Ravens won the Super Bowl. The team stumbled the next season, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Detroit Lions

In 2014, Austin was hired by the Detroit Lions as their defensive coordinator, Austin's first time running a defensive at the professional level. Hired by Caldwell in 2014, the team won 11 games, more than season by the Lions since 1991. One of the major strengths of the team was the defense, ranking second in the league in total defense and first in rushing defense.


Year Position Record Playoff record
2018 Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator 6-10-0 0-0
2017 Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator 9-7-0 0-0
2016 Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator 9-7-0 0-1
2015 Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator 7-9-0 0-0
2014 Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator 11-5-0 0-1
2013 Baltimore Ravens Secondary Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2012 Baltimore Ravens Secondary Coach 10-6-0 4-0
2011 Baltimore Ravens Secondary Coach 12-4-0 1-1
2009 Arizona Cardinals Defensive Backs Coach 10-6-0 1-1
2008 Arizona Cardinals Defensive Backs Coach 9-7-0 3-1
2007 Arizona Cardinals Defensive Backs Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2006 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs Coach 9-7-0 1-1
2005 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs Coach 13-3-0 2-1
2004 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs Coach 9-7-0 0-1
2003 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs Coach 10-6-0 0-1

Coach history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship