Jerry Kill
Kill at the 2013 Minnesota Spring Game
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamNew Mexico State
Biographical details
Born (1961-08-24) August 24, 1961 (age 61)
Cheney, Kansas
Playing career
1979–1982Southwestern (KS)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985–1987Pittsburg State (DC)
1988–1990Webb City HS (MO)
1991–1993Pittsburg State (OC)
1994–1998Saginaw Valley State
1999–2000Emporia State
2001–2007Southern Illinois
2008–2010Northern Illinois
2017Rutgers (OC/QB)
2019Virginia Tech (asst. to HC)
2020–2021TCU (asst. to HC)
2021TCU (interim HC)
2022–presentNew Mexico State
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2016Kansas State (assoc. AD)
2018–2019Southern Illinois (interim AD)
2019Southern Illinois
Head coaching record
Overall162–109 (college)
Tournaments4–5 (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]
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (2016)[3]

Gerald R. Kill (born August 24, 1961) is an American football coach. He is currently the head coach at New Mexico State University. He played college football at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas from 1979 to 1982. 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, as well as serving as the interim head coach for the final 4 games of the 2021 season at TCU.

Kill has also served as an athletic department administrator, most recently at Southern Illinois University as an assistant to the Chancellor and athletic director. He was also briefly at Kansas State as associate athletic director.[4]

During the course of his career he was credited with bringing several programs to new heights and these successes led to increasingly more prestigious coaching positions. Despite retiring from the game in 2015 due to health reasons, Kill returned to coaching in 2020 after accepting a special assistant's job at TCU and was named the interim head coach on October 31, 2021 after the resignation of Gary Patterson.

Early life and playing career

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.[5]

Coaching career

Saginaw Valley State

Kill landed his first college 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.[5] 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).[6]

He is ranked third at Saginaw Valley State in total wins and second in winning percentage (as of the 2007 season).[7]

Emporia State

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.[8]

Southern Illinois

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.[9] On September 26, 2006, he became the school's all-time leader in winning percentage after defeating Indiana State, 55–3.[10]

Northern Illinois

In December 2007, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, announced that Kill had been hired as its new head coach.[11] He replaced Joe Novak, who retired after developing the Huskies into a successful program over 12 seasons, though just one bowl win.[12] Before Kill's first season at Northern Illinois began, NIU was ranked No. 6 in ESPN's Bottom 10.[13] 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[14]) 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."[15]

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.[16][17][18]


The University of Minnesota hired Jerry Kill on December 6, 2010.[19] 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,[20] defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys,[21] and special teams coordinator Jay Sawvel.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

Southern Illinois AD

Kill returned to Southern Illinois in 2018 as a special assistant to the chancellor, later becoming athletic director. He remained in that role through September 2019, when he returned to the coaching ranks at Virginia Tech.[25]

Virginia Tech

Kill was tapped by Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente to be his special assistant after three games of the 2019 football season.[26]


TCU head coach Gary Patterson hired Kill away from Virginia Tech in January 2020 to be a special assistant, overseeing the offense. Although close friends, the two had never worked together before.[27] Kill took over as interim head coach midway through the 2021 season after TCU and Patterson parted ways.[28]

New Mexico State

On November 24, 2021, it was reported that Kill would be the next head coach at New Mexico State University following the 2021 season.[29]

Personal life, health issues, and charity work

Jerry Kill is married to Rebecca Kill, and they have two daughters, Krystal and Tasha.[30]

Kill is close friends with Gary Patterson, former head football coach at Texas Christian University.[31] 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.[32]

Kill suffered a seizure toward the end of a game in October 2005.[33] Subsequently, Kill was diagnosed with kidney cancer, which is now in remission. Kill has since started the Coach Kill Fund to assist low-income southern Illinois residents with treatment.[34] 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.[35] He then suffered two gameday seizures during the 2011 season,[36][37] followed by one each in 2012[38] 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.[39] 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.[40]

Kill was a nominee for the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award,[41] presented by Uplifting Athletes, but lost to Princeton running back Jordan Culbreath.[42] In 2016, he was named to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.[3]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs TSN#
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 9
2004 Southern Illinois 10–2 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round 9
2005 Southern Illinois 9–4 5–2 T–1st L NCAA Division I-AA Second Round 7
2006 Southern Illinois 9–4 4–3 T–4th L NCAA Division I Second Round 7
2007 Southern Illinois 12–2 5–1 2nd L NCAA Division I Semifinal 3
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[a]
Northern Illinois: 23–16 18–6
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten Conference) (2011–2015)
2011 Minnesota 3–9 2–6 6th (Legends)
2012 Minnesota 6–7 2–6 T–5th (Legends) L Texas
2013 Minnesota 8–5[b] 4–4 4th (Legends) L Texas
2014 Minnesota 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (West) L Citrus
2015 Minnesota 4–3[c] 1–2 T–4th (West)
Minnesota: 29–29 14–21
TCU Horned Frogs (Big 12 Conference) (2021)
2021 TCU 2–2[d] 2–2 T–7th
TCU: 2–2 2–2
New Mexico State Aggies (Division I FBS Independent) (2022–present)
2022 New Mexico State 4–5 0–0
New Mexico State: 4–5 0–0
Total: 162–109
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth
  1. ^ Did not coach bowl game
  2. ^ Took a two-game leave of absence for epilepsy treatment during the 2013 season, but all games are credited to his record.
  3. ^ Resigned due to health
  4. ^ Kill took over as interim coach after eight games


  1. ^ a b Jerry Kill captures 2004 Eddie Robinson Award – Nhl Betting Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Betting Express (December 16, 2004). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  2. ^ Christensen, Joe (December 2, 2014). "Kill named Big Ten Coach of Year". Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "The Late Steve Anson To Be Inducted Into The Kansas Sports Hall Of Fame". WIBW News Now. June 8, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "Kansas Native Jerry Kill Named Associate AD at K-State | KSU Wildcats News". May 17, 2016. Archived from the original on May 21, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Player Bio: Jerry Kill :: Football. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Kill named Hornets' football coach | Topeka Capital-Journal, The | Find Articles at[permanent dead link]. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  7. ^ All-Time Coaching Records by Year Archived October 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  8. ^ "Emporia State University Athletics - 2007 Football Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  9. ^ :: – Southern Illinois' Homepage ::[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ I-AA College Football News: Southern Illinois Pounds Indiana State, 55–3
  11. ^ ESPN – Huskies hire former coach of year from Southern Illinois – College Football. (December 13, 2007). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Lollapaloozers rock the preseason Bottom 10", David Duffy, August 5, 2008
  14. ^ Sahly, John (December 14, 2010). "Huskies handle new coach hire with class". Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  15. ^ "Northern Illinois – Team Notes". USA Today. February 3, 2011.
  16. ^ Why Does The NCAA Let Coaches Leave Before Bowl Games?. Bleacher Report (December 14, 2009). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  17. ^ OU football: Kevin Wilson should coach the bowl game | Berry Tramel's Blog Archived July 7, 2012, at Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  18. ^ Getting to know: Tuke and the zombie Humanitarian Bowl staff. Red And Black Attack (December 10, 2010). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  19. ^ "Minnesota hires Jerry Kill as coach". ESPN. December 5, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  20. ^ "Matt Limegrover Bio". Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  21. ^ "Tracy Claeys Bio". Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  22. ^ "Jay Sawvel Bio". Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  23. ^ "Jerry Kill". Archived from the original on July 15, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  24. ^ "Minnesota coach Jerry Kill retiring for health reasons". Sports Illustrated. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  25. ^ Weber, Tom (September 16, 2019). "SIU Director of Athletics Jerry Kill steps down; Liz Jarnigan named next AD". Southern Illinois University Athletics. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  26. ^ Niziolek, Mike (September 16, 2019). "Virginia Tech hires former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill as special assistant to the head coach". Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  27. ^ Davison, Drew (January 15, 2020). "'He's just a ball coach.' TCU's Patterson set to hire longtime friend Jerry Kill". Star-Telegram. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  28. ^ Feldman, Bruce; Khan, Sam, Jr (October 31, 2021). "TCU coach Gary Patterson out after 21 seasons: Source". The Athletic. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  29. ^ Roussel, Scott (November 24, 2021). "More on Jerry Kill's plans". Football Scoop. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  30. ^ Jerry Kill Bio Archived July 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on October 7, 2013.
  31. ^ TCU coach Gary Patterson: What you see is what you get – ESPN Dallas. (November 13, 2009). Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  32. ^ Jerry Kill kills it at presser with enthusiasm, charisma, humor, and vision Archived December 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  33. ^ "Salukis coach Kill back at work after cancer surgery". ESPN. Associated Press. April 5, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  34. ^ The Coach Kill Cancer Fund
  35. ^ Kill hospitalized. Huskie Wire. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  36. ^ "University of Minnesota football coach has seizure, is stable". CNN. September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  37. ^ "Kill to Seek Further Medical Treatment". September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  38. ^ Fornelli, Tom (October 14, 2012). "Minnesota coach Jerry Kill released from hospital". Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  39. ^ Bennett, Brian (October 10, 2013). "Jerry Kill takes a leave of absence".
  40. ^ "Jerry Kill resigns as Gophers football coach, citing health". – Pioneer Press. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  41. ^ "Coach Kill Nominated for National Award". February 1, 2011. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  42. ^ Seeking Nominations for the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Archived February 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Uplifting Athletes. Retrieved July 26, 2012.