Thunder Add All-Arena QB Shane Austin
Monday November 30, 2015
PORTLAND – The Portland Thunder are pleased to announce the acquisition of veteran quarterback Shane Austin, with head coach Andy Olson announcing the assignment of the 2014 All-Arena signal caller this afternoon.
The 26-year-old Austin (6-0, 200, Hawai’i) will enter his fourth season of AFL play with the Thunder in 2016 on the heels of two prolific seasons with the Cleveland Gladiators.
“We’re thrilled to add Shane to our roster,” Olson stated. “He has been a top quarterback in this league for the last two years, and aside from his great passing ability, he can extend plays with his pocket presence and mobility. We expect him to come in hungry, and raise the level of play for us.”
23-13 as a starter over the last two seasons with the Cleveland Gladiators, Austin has quickly gained notoriety as one of the AFL’s top quarterbacks through his elusiveness and clutch play. Austin played his part in eight last minute or overtime wins since he took over the Gladiators starting job in early 2014. Austin led the AFL in completions (416) in 2015, and was second in passing touchdowns (101), while also landing in the top 10 of every statistical rushing category. Overall, Austin brings 889 career completions with him to Portland, from 1438 attempts (61.8%), for 10,344 yards and 218 touchdowns, with a quarterback rating of 109.30. Austin has also rushed 130 times, for 448 yards and 27 scores.
Austin burst onto the AFL scene in 2014 with the Gladiators, when coming off the bench in relief of then quarterback Chris Dieker. Down 20-3 to the New Orleans VooDoo on the road in Week 2, Austin led a second half comeback, throwing for three touchdowns, and rushing for two more in a 37-26 victory. Austin was subbed in for Dieker again one week later, at home against the Iowa Barnstormers, and cemented himself in the quarterback role with a masterful, eight touchdown performance (6 passing, 2 rushing) en-route to a 54-47 win.
The Gladiators would win all but one game through the rest of the 2014 regular season with Shane at the helm, clinching a 17-1 season, an AFL record. Austin would then lead Cleveland to their first ever ArenaBowl appearance after playoff wins over both Orlando and Philadelphia. Austin finished the 2014 season throwing 367 completions from 564 attempts (65.1%), for 4478 yards and 99 touchdowns, earning him second team All-Arena honors.
Austin began his AFL career with the Pittsburgh Power in 2013, making eight appearances, throwing for 1215 yards and 18 touchdowns from 106 completions out of 192 attempts. A mid-season hand injury saw Shane miss two months of the 2013 Power schedule, before returning to the lineup to start each of Pittsburgh’s last three games. Austin came to the Power’s attention after a successful campaign with the IFL’s Everett Raptors in 2012. A mid-season signing for Everett, Shane appeared in seven games, completing 133 passes for 1546 yards and 38 scores. Austin is the last IFL quarterback to complete nine touchdown passes in a single game, a league record, which he set in just his second IFL game (5/5/12 vs. Tri-Cities).
A four year player at the University of Hawaii, Austin appeared in 31 games for the Rainbow Warriors playing as the back-up to current Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bryant Moniz. The two-time All-WAC academic teamer finished his time in Honolulu with 124 completions, from 214 attempts, for 1303 yards and six touchdowns.
Born in Santa Monica, California, Austin was a 2007 graduate of Rio Mesa High School in nearby Oxnard. Austin was a two-time letterman, and earned all-league and all-county honors as he helped lead Rio Mesa to a league championship in 2006.
About the Portland Thunder
The Portland Thunder would like to thank our fans and sponsors for bringing the BOOM this 2015 AFL Season. Tickets and sponsorships are now available for the 2016 AFL Season. For more information, email us at email@example.com or call 503-773-4235. For all the latest news and discussion on the Portland Thunder, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@pdxthunder).