Minnesota Hires Jerry Kill

Earlier this evening it was reported that the Minnesota Golden Gophers' next head football coach would be current Northern Illinois coach, Jerry Kill. Kill, who beat the Gophers earlier this season, will be announced as the next coach tomorrow at a press conference.

The hire of Jerry Kill will be a surprise to most Gopher fans who anticipated the likes of Randy Edsall, Brady Hoke, or Al Golden as the next coach. Despite the lack of notoriety, Kill's resume of creating winning programs should give fans something to cheer about.

Kill started his head coaching career in 1994 at Saginaw Valley State where he 6-4 in his first season. Kill improved the team to a 9-2 record in 1997 and 1998 and held an impressive 38-14 record while at Saginaw Valley. In 1999, Kill took the head coaching job at Emporia State in Kansas where he spent two seasons and went a combined 11-11.

His big break came in 2001 when he became the head coach for Division 1-AA Southern Illinois. Kill's first season at Southern Illinois was nothing short of a disaster, ending the season 1-10 overall. Two seasons later, in 2003, Kill led the Salukis to 10-2 record and a tie for the for Gateway Football Conference title.

Southern Illinois went on to win two more conference titles under Kill. The culmination of Kill's time at Southern Illinois was a 12-2 season that saw the Salukis advance to FCS semifinals. Kill won two Division 1-AA Coach of the Year titles in 2004 and 2007 while with the coaching the Salukis. He compiled a record of 55-32 in seven seasons with Southern Illinois.

Kill entered the Division ranks in 2008 with a 6-7 start with Northern Illinois. In 2009, the Huskies had a winning record of 7-6 but did not win in Kill's second bowl game as coach. This season has been Kill's coming party, leading Northern Illinois to an impressive 10-3 record, including a 34-23 victory over the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Huskies were 10-2 prior to their loss to Miami (Ohio) in the MAC championship game last Friday. The incredible season can be attributed to the Huskies' ability to run the ball effectively. The team ranked 7th in the nation in rushing yards per game, averaging 264.8 yards per contest. The high-powered offense was also ranked 13th nationally with 37.8 points per game.

The dedication to running the ball has been an essential part of Kill's offense which is a combination of zone-read and pistol formations. Kill will likely bring his offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Matt Limegrover, to Minnesota. Limegrober and Kill have coached together for the past 12 seasons.

Kill will most likely hire on Tracy Claeys to be the Gophers' defensive coordinator. Claeys has been with Kill for 15 seasons and led the Huskies to a solid defensive year, ranking 16th in points against at 19.1 points per game.

Goldensports.net will have more information on the hire after the press conference tomorrow afternoon.

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