Jerry Kill has been named head coach of the University of Minnesota football program. Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi announced the signing of Kill to a five-year contract Sunday night.
Kill comes to Minnesota after spending the last three seasons on the sidelines at Northern Illinois University. Kill has led the Huskies to three consecutive bowl games during his tenure. He also coached NIU to a berth the Mid-American Conference Championship game this season. Kill put together a 23-16 record in his three seasons with the Huskies.
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at the University of Minnesota,” Kill said. “It is a tremendous opportunity and -- I think -- great timing. I can promise all the people at the University of Minnesota and throughout the entire state that I am going to give them every single ounce that I can give them. I have done that on every job that I have taken. I was raised the old-school way by my father and mother to do my job to the very best of my ability. You go full speed at it and you don’t let anyone out-work you. I have lived by that motto my entire life and that is what I intend to do at the University of Minnesota.”
In three seasons, Kill coached two winners of the Mid-American Conference Vern Smith Leadership Award, given annually to the conference’s top football player. Defensive end Larry English won the award in 2008, Kill’s first season with the Huskies. Running back Chad Spann was honored as the conference’s top player this season. English went on to be the No. 16 overall choice in the 2009 NFL Draft and currently plays for the San Diego Chargers. Spann currently ranks No. 12 in the nation in scoring and No. 20 in rushing.
During the 2010 season, Kill mentored six first-team All-MAC selections. In his three seasons, the Huskies earned 10 first-team all-MAC honors. His 2010 squad currently ranks No. 7 in the nation in rushing offense, No. 13 in scoring offense, No. 21 in total offense, No. 16 in scoring defense, No. 26 in total defense, No. 27 in rushing defense and No. 35 in passing defense.
In 2009, Kill was presented with the National Football Foundation Courage Award by the Chicago Metro Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Kill’s overall collegiate head coaching record stands at 127-73 in 17 seasons. In four stops as a head coach, he has never left a school with a sub-.500 record. In three of his previous four head coaching positions, he took over a team with a losing record and turned in a winning season in three years or less.
“We cast a wide net in this search, but the name we kept coming back to was Jerry Kill,” Maturi said. “Coach Kill has won at every level of coaching and has a history of rebuilding programs. I’m confident we have chosen the right man to lead the Golden Gopher program.”
Prior to serving as the head coach at Northern Illinois, Kill was in charge of the football program at Southern Illinois University, an FCS (formerly Division I-AA) program in Carbondale, Ill. He spent seven years on the Saluki sideline and compiled a 55-32 record. Kill’s record over his final five seasons with Southern Illinois was 50-14 and included five consecutive NCAA FCS Playoff appearances.
Kill was the head coach at Emporia (Kan.) State for two seasons in 1999-2000. He went 11-11 with the Hornets, who play at the NCAA Division II level. Prior to coaching at Emporia State, Kill was the head coach at NCAA Division II member Saginaw Valley State from 1994-1998. He compiled a 38-14 record with the Cardinals.
Kill served as defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator in two different stops at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University. He helped lead the Gorillas to three NAIA playoff appearances in three years as the defensive coordinator from 1985-87. Kill returned to Pitt State as the offensive coordinator from 1990-93. In that four-year span, the Gorillas advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs four times, reaching the championship game twice and winning the 1991 national title.
Sandwiched in between his stints at Pittsburg State, Kill was the head coach at Webb City (Mo.) High School. He was 25-1 in two seasons at Webb City and won a state championship in 1989.
In addition to winning on the field, Kill’s tenure at Northern Illinois has also included achievement in the classroom. In his first two seasons at Northern Illinois, his team compiled the highest cumulative grade-point averages in school history. In his first two seasons, 50 NIU student-athletes earned their bachelor’s degrees, helping the Huskies rank among the top three teams in the MAC in Graduation Success Rate (GSR). NIU’s most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 975 ranked the Huskies 10th among all NCAA Division I schools.
Kill is married to the former Rebecca Smith. He has two daughters -- Krystal (23) and Tasha (19).
MEDIA ADVISORY: University of Minnesota Athletics will host a news conference with new Gopher head football coach Jerry Kill and director of athletics Joel Maturi on Monday, Dec. 6, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Indoor Club Room (6th floor) at TCF Bank Stadium. Following the formal portion of the news conference, coach Kill will be available for one-on-one interviews with television and radio outlets. Please contact Garry Bowman (612-875-0154) or Andy Seeley (612-269-2706) to be placed on the interview schedule. Media interested in attending the news conference should park in Sports Media Parking on either the northeast or northwest sides of Mariucci Arena. Additional sports media parking is available on the apron at Williams Arena. Please enter TCF Bank Stadium through the Dodge County entrance and take the elevator to the sixth floor. Follow the hallway to the left (opposite direction of the game day press seating area) to the Indoor Club. Television outlets should park in the TV compound, where they can patch directly into the game day broadcast booth transmission panels for live carriage. The run from the TV broadcast booth to the press box may require up to 500 feet of cabling. Radio outlets interested in taking the press conference live may use the existing phone lines in TCF Bank Stadium radio booths and should also bring any necessary phone wiring to reach the news conference location which could be up to 500 feet.