Jerry Kill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jerry Kill
Kill at the 2013 Minnesota Spring Game
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1961-08-24) August 24, 1961 (age 54)
Cheney, Kansas
Playing career
1979–1982 Southwestern (KS)
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985–1987 Pittsburg State (DC)
1988–1990 Webb City (MO) HS
1991–1993 Pittsburg State (OC)
1994–1998 Saginaw Valley State
1999–2000 Emporia State
2001–2007 Southern Illinois
2008–2010 Northern Illinois
2011–2015 Minnesota
Head coaching record
Overall 152–99
Bowls 0–5
Tournaments 4–5 (NCAA D-I-AA/FCS playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
3 Gateway Football (2003–2005)
1 MAC West Division (2010)
Eddie Robinson Award (2004)[1]
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2014)[2]

Jerry Kill (born August 24, 1961) is a former American college football coach and player. Kill served as the head coach at Saginaw Valley State University, Emporia State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Northern Illinois University and the University of Minnesota. He played college football at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas from 1979 to 1982.

Early life and playing career[edit]

Kill was born in Cheney, Kansas. He was raised in a "working class family" and became the first member of his family to graduate from college.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Saginaw Valley State[edit]

Kill landed his first head coaching job as the fourth football coach at Saginaw Valley State University in 1994, where he produced five consecutive winning seasons, including back-to-back 9–2 campaigns in 1997 and 1998.[3] Kill compiled a 38–14 record in five years as head coach. His teams led the NCAA's Division II in rushing each of his last two years and his last season was second in the nation in total offense (498.3) and scoring (42.5).[4]

He is ranked third at Saginaw Valley State in total wins and second in winning percentage (as of the 2007 season).[5]

Emporia State[edit]

Kill was the 20th head football coach for Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, and held that position for two seasons, from 1999 until 2000. His overall coaching record at Emporia State was 11–11. As of completion of the 2007 season, this ranked him tenth at Emporia State in total wins and ninth in winning percentage.[6]

Southern Illinois[edit]

Kill was named to the head coaching post at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2001. In 2004, Kill's Salukis went a perfect 9–0 against Division I-AA opponents and outscored competitors by more than 30 points per game. Southern Illinois finished 7–0 in Gateway Football Conference games, earned the No. 1 ranking for the final ten weeks of the year, and garnered the top seed in the 2004 postseason.[1]

At Southern Illinois, Kill was the first coach to produce four consecutive winning seasons and is credited with turning the football team around to a winning program.[7] On September 26, 2006, he became the school's all-time leader in winning percentage after a "pounding" of Indiana State, 55–3.[8]

Northern Illinois[edit]

In December 2007, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, announced that Kill had been hired as its new head coach.[9] He replaced Joe Novak, who retired after developing the Huskies into a successful program over 12 seasons, though just one bowl win.[10] Before Kill's first season at Northern Illinois began, NIU was ranked No. 6 in ESPN's Bottom 10.[11] The team finished the 2008 regular season with a 6–6 record. The six wins secured bowl eligibility and an invitation to the Independence Bowl was accepted. Northern Illinois was defeated by Louisiana Tech, 17–10, in the bowl game despite outgaining the Bulldogs in rushing and passing yardage.

In 2010, Northern Illinois had a nine-game win streak and reached the MAC Championship Game, losing to Miami. NIU finished 10–3 for the year. In December, days after the losing the conference championship to Miami, Kill accepted the position of head coach for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. His announcement came less than two weeks before the Huskies were scheduled to play in the Humanitarian Bowl. Leaving the team in the manner he did (many teammates learned about his new job via Twitter instead of from Kill himself[12]) dealt an emotional blow to the members of the team; quarterback Chandler Harnish saying about Kill's departure, "I have a horrible taste in my mouth". Additionally, besides the emotional impact, USA Today noted, "The timing of the announcement further hurts the program due to Kill most likely taking the bulk of his staff to Minnesota."[13]

Thus, Kill left NIU without ever winning a bowl game. Furthermore, the fact that Kill left NIU before the team's bowl game added fuel to the debate about whether or not the NCAA should prohibit coaches from abandoning their teams before their final bowl game.[14][15][16]


The University of Minnesota hired Jerry Kill on December 6, 2010.[17] He took over for Tim Brewster who was fired during the middle of the season. Kill brought much of his NIU staff with him to Minnesota, including offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover[18] defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys,[19] and special teams coordinator Jay Sawvel.[20] While his first season in Minnesota was not particularly successful (finishing with a 3–9 record and one of only two non-bowl eligible teams in the Big Ten), Kill was in the headlines most often due to his health issues. A highlight of the 2011 season was a win over Big Ten rival Iowa. In Kill's second season (2012), Minnesota improved to 6–7, including an appearance in the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl where they eventually lost a close game to Texas Tech 34–31.

After Kill led Minnesota to a 4–1 start in the 2013 season, a seizure prevented him from attending Minnesota's game at Michigan. He announced on October 10, 2013 that he would take a leave of absence to focus on epilepsy treatment. With his longtime defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys serving as acting head coach, Kill watched their next game, a win over Northwestern, from the press box. Minnesota went on to win four consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since 1973. Even without Kill present on the field, the Gophers finished with an 8–5 record. The American Football Association named Kill the Region 3 Coach of the Year.[21]

Kill returned to the field for the 2014 football season. For the first six games of the season, the Golden Gophers went 5-1, with their only loss to TCU (30–7), and conference wins over Michigan (30–14) and Northwestern (24–17). The team ended with an 8–5 record, with losses to TCU, Illinois (28–24), Ohio State (31–24), Wisconsin (34–24), and Mizzou (33–17) at the Citrus Bowl. Kill was also awarded the Big Ten Coach of the Year award for the 2014 season.

Jerry Kill began the 2015 season with the Gophers, building a 4–3 record. However, worsening health problems led him to retire from his position as head coach on October 28, 2015. He was succeeded by defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys.[22]

Personal life, health, and charity work[edit]

Jerry Kill is married to Rebecca Kill, and they have two daughters, Krystal and Tasha.[23]

Kill is close friends with Gary Patterson, currently the head football coach at Texas Christian University.[24] Both men played football for Dennis Franchione and each worked for him as an assistant coach. Kill served as the best man in Patterson's wedding.[25]

Kill suffered a seizure toward the end of a game in October 2005.[26] Subsequently, Kill was diagnosed with kidney cancer, which is now in remission. Kill has since started the Coach Kill Cancer Fund foundation to assist low-income southern Illinois residents with treatment.[27] Then, from 2010 through 2013, Kill was plagued by a series of gameday hospitalizations, most of which were also seizures. Shortly after a game in September 2010, he was hospitalized for dehydration.[28] He then suffered two gameday seizures during the 2011 season,[29][30] followed by one each in 2012[31] and 2013. After the 2013 seizure, Kill announced that he was taking a leave of absence to address his health and get his seizures under control.[32] After coaching for the entire 2014 season and the first seven games of the 2015 season, Kill announced that he was resigning as head coach on October 28, 2015. He cited health reasons, including at least two additional seizures, as the cause for his decision.[33]

Kill was a nominee for the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award,[34] presented by Uplifting Athletes, but lost to Princeton running back Jordan Culbreath.[35]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Saginaw Valley State Cardinals (Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference) (1994–1998)
1994 Saginaw Valley State 6–4 6–4 T–4th
1995 Saginaw Valley State 7–3 7–3 T–3rd
1996 Saginaw Valley State 7–3 7–3 T–3rd
1997 Saginaw Valley State 9–2 8–2 3rd
1998 Saginaw Valley State 9–2 8–2 T–2nd
Saginaw Valley State: 38–14 36–14
Emporia State Hornets (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) (1999–2000)
1999 Emporia State 5–6 4–5 T–5th
2000 Emporia State 6–5 5–4 T–4th
Emporia State: 11–11 9–9
Southern Illinois Salukis (Gateway Football Conference) (2001–2007)
2001 Southern Illinois 1–10 1–6 7th
2002 Southern Illinois 4–8 2–5 T–6th
2003 Southern Illinois 10–2 6–1 T–1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
2004 Southern Illinois 10–2 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
2005 Southern Illinois 9–4 5–2 T–1st L NCAA Division I-AA Second Round
2006 Southern Illinois 9–4 4–3 T–4th L NCAA Division I Second Round
2007 Southern Illinois 12–2 5–1 2nd L NCAA Division I Semifinal
Southern Illinois: 55–32 30–18
Northern Illinois Huskies (Mid-American Conference) (2008–2010)
2008 Northern Illinois 6–7 5–3 4th (West) L Independence
2009 Northern Illinois 7–6 5–3 2nd (West) L International
2010 Northern Illinois 10–3* 8–0* 1st (West) * Humanitarian
Northern Illinois: 23–16 18–6 *Did not coach bowl game.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten Conference) (2011–present)
2011 Minnesota 3–9 2–6 6th (Legends)
2012 Minnesota 6–7 2–6 T–5th (Legends) L Texas
2013 Minnesota* 8–5 4–4 4th (Legends) L Texas
2014 Minnesota 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (West) L Citrus
2015 Minnesota 4–3 1–2 T–4th (West)
Minnesota: 29–29 14–21 *Took a 2-game leave of absence for epilepsy treatment
Total: 152–99
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ a b Jerry Kill captures 2004 Eddie Robinson Award – Nhl Betting. Betting Express (December 16, 2004). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Player Bio: Jerry Kill :: Football. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Kill named Hornets' football coach | Topeka Capital-Journal, The | Find Articles at Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  5. ^ All-Time Coaching Records by Year. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  6. ^ 07ESUFBmediaguide.pdf. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  7. ^ :: – Southern Illinois' Homepage ::
  8. ^ I-AA College Football News: Southern Illinois Pounds Indiana State, 55–3
  9. ^ ESPN – Huskies hire former coach of year from Southern Illinois – College Football. (December 13, 2007). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "NOVAK STEPS DOWN AFTER 12 SEASONS AS NIU HEAD COACH :: Huskie Mentor Led Program to Unprecedented FBS Success". November 26, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lollapaloozers rock the preseason Bottom 10", David Duffy, August 5, 2008
  12. ^ Sahly, John (December 14, 2010). "Huskies handle new coach hire with class". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Northern Illinois – Team Notes". USA Today. February 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ Why Does The NCAA Let Coaches Leave Before Bowl Games?. Bleacher Report (December 14, 2009). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  15. ^ OU football: Kevin Wilson should coach the bowl game | Berry Tramel's Blog. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Getting to know: Tuke and the zombie Humanitarian Bowl staff. Red And Black Attack (December 10, 2010). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  17. ^ "Minnesota hires Jerry Kill as coach". ESPN. December 5, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Matt Limegrover Bio". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Tracy Claeys Bio". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Jay Sawvel Bio". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Jerry Kill". 
  22. ^ "Minnesota coach Jerry Kill retiring for health reasons". Sports Illustrated. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  23. ^ Jerry Kill Bio. Retrieved on October 7, 2013.
  24. ^ TCU coach Gary Patterson: What you see is what you get – ESPN Dallas. (November 13, 2009). Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  25. ^ Jerry Kill kills it at presser with enthusiasm, charisma, humor, and vision. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  26. ^ "Salukis coach Kill back at work after cancer surgery". ESPN. Associated Press. April 5, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ The Coach Kill Cancer Fund
  28. ^ Kill hospitalized. Huskie Wire. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  29. ^ "University of Minnesota football coach has seizure, is stable". CNN. September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Kill to Seek Further Medical Treatment". September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  31. ^ Fornelli, Tom (October 14, 2012). "Minnesota coach Jerry Kill released from hospital". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  32. ^ Bennett, Brian (October 10, 2013). "Jerry Kill takes a leave of absence". 
  33. ^ "Jerry Kill resigns as Gophers football coach, citing health". - Pioneer Press. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Coach Kill Nominated for National Award". February 1, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  35. ^ Seeking Nominations for the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion. Uplifting Athletes. Retrieved July 26, 2012.

External links[edit]