Coach Jerry Kill
A passionate advocate for epilepsy, Coach Kill was recently hired by Rutgers University as an offensive coordinator. His journey with epilepsy began in 2000 when he experienced his first seizure. Despite the challenge of living with epilepsy, Coach Kill won Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2014 as the head coach of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. In 2014, Coach Kill founded the Chasing Dreams Epilepsy Fund and wrote the book Chasing Dreams: Living My Life One Yard at a Time after retiring from the Golden Gophers in 2015. The Epilepsy Foundation presented Coach Kill the Hero of Epilepsy Award in 2016.
In the fall of 2015, Coach Jerry Kill stepped away from his head coaching career at the University of Minnesota due to health reasons. In the interim, he has spoken around the country to large and small corporations, covering various topics including rebuilding businesses and overcoming adversity. During this time he also wrote a book, Chasing Dreams: Living My Life One Yard at a Time, which includes insights and details on how to build a strong and successful business and tips on using communication to foster relationships and overcome adversity. Not only does his book serve as a great resource in the workplace, readers can get an inside look at the life of Coach Kill, and a large percentage of the proceeds directly support the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota’s Coach Kill Chasing Dreams Epilepsy Fund.
In May 2016 after he was able to regain control of his health, he was named Associate Athletic Director at Kansas State.
Jerry Kill was named head coach of the University of Minnesota football program on December 7, 2010. He is in his fourth year at Minnesota and 21st overall of being a head college football coach in 2014. His career record is 152-98.
The Gophers were 3-9 in Kill's first season in 2011, but reached a bowl game and finished 6-7 in 2012. As custom with Kill and his staff, the third year at a school usually turns into a memorable season and 2013 was no different at Minnesota as the Gophers finished the season with an 8-5 record. Kill was a combined 9-26 in his first year at Minnesota and at his previous two schools Northern Illinois (NIU) and Southern Illinois (SIU). In his third year, the schools produced a combined record of 28-9.
The success from 2013 has carried over into 2014, as Kill's Gophers are 8-4 and finished 5-3 in the Big Ten. Kill has guided Minnesota to its first back-to-back eight-win seasons since 2002 (eight wins) and 2003 (10 wins). Since 1906, Minnesota has won eight games in consecutive seasons only five times. The 2013 and 2014 seasons are Minnesota's first consecutive four-win conference seasons since 1999 (5-3) and 2000 (4-4). In 2014, Kill coached the Gophers to resounding wins against rivals Michigan (30-14) and Iowa (51-14) to claim the Little Brown Jug and Floyd of Rosedale. This year marks the first time that Minnesota has beaten Michigan and Iowa in the same season since 1967. Under Kill's direction, Minnesota also erased a 14-point halftime deficit at Nebraska to beat the ranked Huskers on the road for the first time since 1960.
Kill coached the Big Ten tight end of the year in Maxx Williams and the Big Ten punter of the year in Peter Mortell and in total five Gophers were named All-Big Ten First Team, the most since 2004.
Minnesota will play in the Buffalo Wild Wings citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. The game will mark Minnesota's first appearance in the historic Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and it is the first time that Minnesota will play a bowl game in January in Florida. Kill led the Gophers to a January bowl game for the first time since 1962 when Minnesota beat UCLA 21-3 on Jan. 1, in the Rose Bowl.
For his efforts, Kill was voted the Big Ten's Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year by the conference's coaches and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year by the media who cover the Big Ten. He also was named Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association for the second straight year. Kill, who was the only repeat winner among the five Football Bowl Subdivision coaches, was recognized by the AFCA for the fourth time, as he was also named a Regional Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004 while at Southern Illinois.
In 2013, the Gophers reached eight wins for the first time under Kill and for only the seventh time since 1960 and 18th time overall. Last year, Kill and his staff led Minnesota to four straight Big Ten wins for the first time since 1973 and ended a 16-game losing streak to Nebraska. Kill was named Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
Kill saw nine of his players earn postseason recognition by Big Ten coaches and media, and Minnesota had two first-team All-Big Ten selections in Ra'Shede Hageman and Brock Vereen. Hageman and Vereen were the first Gophers to receive that honor since 2009. Hageman was then drafted in the second round by Atlanta, while Vereen was a fourth-round selection by Chicago, as they became the first Minnesota players drafted since 2010.
Kill's rebuilding of the Minnesota program is also taking place in the classroom. The Gophers recorded a 994 Academic Progress Rate (APR) for both the 2012-13 season and the 2011-12 season. The 994 score is the highest single-season score that the Minnesota football team has ever recorded and the Gophers' multi-year rate of 962 is also a school record.
Kill came to Minnesota after spending three seasons on the sidelines at NIU. Kill led the Huskies to three consecutive bowl games during his tenure and also coached NIU to a berth the Mid-American Conference Championship game in 2010. Kill was 23-16 in his three seasons with the Huskies.
At NIU, 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. Running back Chad Spann was honored in 2010. English went on to be the No. 16 overall choice in the 2009 NFL Draft and currently plays for the San Diego Chargers.
During 2010, Kill mentored six first-team All-MAC selections. In his three seasons, the Huskies earned 10 first-team all-MAC honors. His 2010 squad ranked No. 7 in the nation in rushing offense, No. 12 in scoring offense, No. 19 in total offense, No. 14 in scoring defense, No. 26 in total defense, No. 24 in rushing defense and No. 44 in passing defense. Following the 2010 season, Kill was named the National Coach of the Year by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
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.
In four previous 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.
Prior to serving as the head coach at NIU, Kill was in charge of the football program at Southern Illinois, an FCS 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 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 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 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.
Kill and his wife Rebecca have two daughters, Krystal and Tasha.
In the fall of 2015 Coach Kill stepped away from his head coaching career at as the University of Minnesota due to health reasons. In the interim he spoke all around the country to large and small corporations, covering the topics of rebuilding and overcoming adversity.
Kill By the Numbers:
- .608 Winning percentage as a collegiate head coach
- 1 National Championship. Won as offensive coordinator at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University in 1991
- 1 Big Ten Coach of the Year (Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year and Dave McClain Coach of the Year) at Minnesota in 2014
- 2 Mid-American Conference Vern Smith Leadership Award (MVP) winners in three years at NIU
- 2 National Coach of the Year honors. 2007 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, 2004 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
- 3 Bowl-eligible teams in three seasons at Northern Illinois University. 2008 Independence Bowl; 2009 International Bowl; 2010 Humanitarian Bowl
- 3 Bowl-eligible team in four seasons at Minnesota. 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl; 2013 Texas Bowl; 2014 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
- 4 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors. 2003 and 2004 at Southern Illinois, 2013 and 2014 at Minnesota
- 5 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoff appearances as head coach at Southern Illinois University
- 7 First-team All-Big Tenselections in his four-year tenure at Minnesota
- 10 First-team All-MAC selections in his three-year tenure at Northern Illinois
- 15 Winning seasons (out of 21) as a collegiate head coach