"It's an honor to join the Bengals organization," Austin said in a statement on the team's official website. "I look forward to leading an aggressive group of young men and helping them and the team achieve our goals."
The 52-year-old Austin has been coaching since 1991 when he was a graduate assistant at Penn State. He moved to the NFL in 2003 as a defensive backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals through 2009.
After returning to college in 2010 with the Florida Gators, Austin was the Baltimore Ravens' secondary coach and was on the staff when they won a Super Bowl during the 2012 season. He has been on Jim Caldwell's staff with the Lions since 2014 but has reportedly been itching to become a head coach.
Austin had pointed comments about interviews he had with teams about being a head coach before the 2016 season.
“I wouldn’t call it frustrating, 'cause it’s really an honor to be interviewed," Austin said in June 2016, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "But I know I’m ready for a job. Somebody’s going to figure it out; that’s how I look at it."
Austin has been one of the most-discussed coordinators when it comes to vacant coaching positions in recent years. Rapoport reported Monday the Oakland Raiders were trying to lure him away from the Bengals at the last minute, offering him an assistant head coach title to sweeten the deal.
Hiring Austin should be the perfect salve for a team that ranked 17th in defensive efficiency in 2017, per Football Outsiders. His arrival should also energize some of the fans who had been put off by the two-year extension given to head coach Marvin Lewis.