Jerry Kill
Kill at the 2013 Minnesota Spring Game
Current position
TitleHead coach
ConferenceBig Ten
Biographical details
Born (1961-08-24) August 24, 1961 (age 58)
Cheney, Kansas
Playing career
1979–1982Southwestern (KS)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Pittsburg State (DC)
Webb City HS (MO)
Pittsburg State (OC)
Saginaw Valley State
Emporia State
Southern Illinois
Northern Illinois
Head coaching record
Tournaments4–5 (NCAA D-I-AA/FCS playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
3 Gateway Football (2003–2005)
1 MAC West Division (2010)
Eddie Robinson Award (2004)[1]

Jerry Kill (born August 24, 1961) is the head football coach at the University of Minnesota. Before assuming this position with the Golden Gophers in December 2010,[2] Kill served as the head coach at Saginaw Valley State University, Emporia State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Northern Illinois University. Kill played college football at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas from 1979 to 1982.

Early life and playing careerEdit

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] He earned a bachelor's degree in education with a minor in biology from Southwestern College in 1983. At Southwestern, he played football under Phil Hower and Dennis Franchione.

Coaching careerEdit

Kill has moved up quickly through the coaching ranks, regularly being seen as a "hot prospect". Despite this, Kill has never coached a team to a victory in a post-season bowl game.

Saginaw Valley StateEdit

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 StateEdit

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 IllinoisEdit

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 IllinoisEdit

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]


Kill brought much of NIU staff with him to Minnesota, including his offensive coordinator,[17] defensive coordinator,[18] and special teams coordinator.[19] 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.

Personal life, health, and charity workEdit

Kill is close friends with Gary Patterson, currently the head football coach at Texas Christian University.[20] 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.[21]

Kill suffered a series of seizures, including one on the sidelines in the waning seconds of a home loss to Illinois State on October 15, 2005.[22] 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.[23]

On September 11, 2010, Kill was hospitalized for dehydration hours after a 23–17 win over North Dakota.[24] One year later, on September 10, 2011, Kill was rushed to the hospital after suffering yet another seizure and collapsing on the sidelines, this time during the final seconds of Minnesota's loss to New Mexico State.[25] On September 25, 2011, Kill was admitted to the Mayo Clinic after suffering another seizure.[26] On October 13, 2012, he suffered a minor seizure after a Minnesota-Northwestern game and was released the following day.[27][28] Kill missed the entire 2nd half of the Michigan game on November 3 due to suffering another seizure at halftime.

Kill was a nominee for the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award,[29] presented by Uplifting Athletes, but lost to Princeton running back Jordan Culbreath.[30]

Head coaching recordEdit

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 6th (Legends) L Meineke Car Care
2013 Minnesota 0–0 0–0
Minnesota: 9–16 4–12
Total: 136–89
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jerry Kill captures 2004 Eddie Robinson Award – Nhl Betting. Betting Express (December 16, 2004). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  2. "Minnesota hires Jerry Kill as coach". ESPN. December 5, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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 14 October 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. "Matt Limegrover Bio". Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  18. "Tracy Claeys Bio". Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  19. "Jay Sawvel Bio". Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  20. TCU coach Gary Patterson: What you see is what you get – ESPN Dallas. (November 13, 2009). Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  21. Jerry Kill kills it at presser with enthusiasm, charisma, humor, and vision. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  22. "Salukis coach Kill back at work after cancer surgery". Associated Press. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  23. WSIL TV • SIU Head Football Coach Jerry Kill Collapses After Coach's Show[dead link]
  24. Kill hospitalized. Huskie Wire. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  25. "University of Minnesota football coach has seizure, is stable". CNN. September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  26. "Kill to Seek Further Medical Treatment". September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  27. Fornelli, Tom (14 October 2012). "Minnesota coach Jerry Kill released from hospital". Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  28. Fuller, Marcus R. (14 October 2012). "Minnesota Gophers coach Jerry Kill released from hospital after seizure".
  29. "Coach Kill Nominated for National Award". 1 February 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  30. Seeking Nominations for the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion. Uplifting Athletes. Retrieved July 26, 2012.

External linksEdit

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