Kill Announces Staff Additions

Joining the Golden Gopher football staff are Bill Miller, Jeff Phelps, Pat Poore, Rob Reeves and Jim Zebrowski. Miller will hold the title of assistant head coach and will coach the linebackers. Phelps will serve as the defensive line coach. Poore will coach the receivers. Reeves will coach the H-Backs and tight ends. Zebrowski will serve as the quarterbacks coach.

"The great thing is, a lot of people got to see a good group of them coach in the (Northern Illinois) bowl game," Kill said. "Right now, a good portion of that group is coming on board. They're great coaches. They understand exactly what I expect and what I want."

Miller, a 32-year collegiate coaching veteran, most recently coached the linebackers and served as the co-defensive coordinator for the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2009 season. He has experience at Minnesota, serving as the Gophers' defensive backs coach from 1986-88. Miller coached the linebackers at Louisville in 2008 and had been promoted to defensive coordinator before accepting the aforementioned position at Kansas. Miller was the defensive coordinator at Western Michigan in 2007. He was the defensive coordinator at Arizona State from 2005-06. In 2003-04, Miller was the associate head coach and linebackers coach at Florida. He spent 1999-2002 at Michigan State as the Spartans' defensive coordinator. From 1995-98, he ran the defense for Miami (Fla.). From 1989-94, Miller was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. He coordinated the defense at Nevada from 1983-85. His first full-time job in collegiate coaching was in 1981, when he coached the secondary at Drake for two seasons. Miller got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Texas-Arlington in 1978. He followed that with a stint as a graduate assistant for two seasons at Oklahoma State.

Miller has been on staff with five teams that have won conference championships. He has coached in 10 bowl games. Miller is a graduate of Hutchinson (Kan.) High School. He played two years at Hutchinson Junior College in 1974-75. He then finished his collegiate career playing safety at Texas-Arlington in 1976-77. He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from UTA in 1978. Miller has coached under head coaches such as Jimmy Johnson, Pat Jones, Chris Ault, Butch Davis, Nick Saban, Ron Zook and Dirk Koetter.

"I think everybody in the country knows Billy in one way, shape or form," Kill said. "He was here at the University of Minnesota with Coach Gutekunst. I thought that was a critical hire for us. He's been in this thing for a long time. I'm really excited about him joining our staff."

Phelps joins the Minnesota staff after spending five years coaching at Northern Illinois. For the past three seasons, he has coached the Huskies' entire defensive line. In his first two seasons at NIU, he was responsible for the defensive tackles. Phelps coached defensive end Larry English at NIU. English went on to be named the Mid-American Conference's Most Valuable Player twice and was the 2008 MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He was the 16th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, going to the San Diego Chargers.

Phelps began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ball State in 1999. He then spent three seasons at DePauw, where he coached the running backs for two seasons before going to the defensive side of the ball to coach the linebackers. He then spent three seasons at Hillsdale (Mich.) College, where he coached the defensive line from 2003-05 before joining the staff at NIU. Phelps was a Second-Team All-MAC player at outside linebacker for Ball State following his senior season in 1997. He was also an Honorable Mention All-MAC selection as a junior. The Chicago native holds a bachelor's degree from Ball State and is a graduate of Crete-Monee High School, where he was a three-sport standout, earning seven letters - football (2), wrestling (2), track and field (3).

"Like I did with Thomas Hammock, I always look for talent that has been at the university that I go to," Kill said. "Jeff was a fit for me when I went to Northern Illinois. I felt he could add to the staff that I brought in and he's just done a great job. He's got an outstanding background working for Coach (Joe) Novak and playing at Ball State. He's a great recruiter. But more importantly he's a great defensive line coach and he's probably a better person than he is a coach."

Poore is a 26-year veteran of college coaching. He spent the last three seasons Northern Illinois. His first two years at NIU were spent coaching the quarterbacks, while he coached the wide receivers this past season. Poore has coached with Kill since 2001, when he joined the staff at Southern Illinois. With the Salukis, Poore coached the quarterbacks. He coached in three consecutive bowl games at Northern Illinois and also coached in the NCAA FCS Playoffs for five consecutive seasons (2003-07) at Southern Illinois. With the Salukis, quarterback Nick Hill broke five single-season school records and was a Sports Network All-America performer. He also coached 2004 Gateway Conference Player of the Year Joel Sambursky, who still holds three SIU records.

Prior to joining Kill's staff, Poore was an assistant coach at Central Oklahoma (1999-2000), Tarleton State (1997-99) and Panhandle State (1995-96). Poore also served as head coach at Iowa Wesleyan in 1994 and 1995. He also served as an assistant coach at Iowa Wesleyan from 1992-94. Poore's coaching career has also included stops at Colorado School of Mines (1990-91) and the University of Chicago (1991-92), where he was on staff with Gopher offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover. Poore began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater Fort Hays (Kan.) State in 1985. In 1987, he took a full-time position with Fort Hays State, while also coaching the Tigers' baseball team. In 1988, he gave up the baseball duties and was promoted to offensive coordinator, a role he served in until 1989. Poore is a gradute of Stockton (Kan.) High School.

"(Pat Poore) and I have known each other for a long, long time," Kill said. "I actually coached against him when I was at Pittsburg State. Pat has been a head coach and an assistant coach. He came on board when I went to Southern Illinois and has been with me ever since. Pat has coached quarterbacks, has coached wide receivers and has been a head coach. He's a multi-talented guy. Having that head coaching experience and understanding my role and my position is important. He's part of that chemistry that I've had for a long time."

Reeves' association with Kill dates back to his playing days at Saginaw Valley State, where the Michigan native was an All-America quarterback. For the past three seasons, Reeves has been the running backs coach at Northern Illinois. At each stop, Reeves has helped Kill develop some of the nation's top rushing attacks. Reeves coached NIU running back Chad Spann to back-to-back First-Team All-MAC honors in 2009 and 2010. Spann was named the MAC's Most Valuable Player in 2010 as well. Prior to his stint at Northern Illinois, Reeves coached the running backs at Southern Illinois. Saluki running backs coached by Reeves earned four All-America accolades and eight all-conference awards. He also coached two Gateway Conference Newcomers of the Year.

Reeves also served as the running backs coach at Emporia State from 1999-2000. He was a graduate assistant at Saginaw Valley State from 1996-98. As a player at Saginaw Valley, Reeves was a two-year starter at quarterback and was an All-America selection in 1994. He was also a two-time All-Midwest Intercollegiate Conference selection. Reeves holds a bachelor's and master's degree from Saginaw Valley State. He is a graduate of Saline (Mich.) High School.

"Rob Reeves is a young man who played quarterback for me at Saginaw Valley State and he's been with me ever since," Kill said. "He's been part of my coaching family for a lot of years. He brings a wealth of experience. He probably understands me better than anybody, being that he played for me."

Zebrowksi spent the 2010 season as the quarterbacks coach at Northern Illinois. He mentored Chandler Harnish to First-Team All-MAC honors this past season. Prior to joining the NIU staff, Zebrowski was the offensive coordinator and coached the quarterbacks at NCAA Division III power Wisconsin-Whitewater for three seasons. During Zebrowski's tenure at UW-Whitewater, the Warhawks won the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Division III National Championship and finished as the runners-up in 2008. The Warhawks compiled a 42-3 record during Zebrowski's three seasons in Whitewater, including a perfect 15-0 mark in 2009. Zebrowski was named the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and the FootballScoop.com Division III Coordinator of the Year in 2009.

Prior to his time at UW-Whitewater, Zebrowski spent four seasons as the head coach at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis. His Lakeland teams compiled a 28-12 mark, including a 24-4 record in the Illini-Badger Football Conference. Lakeland won the 2004 and 2005 conference championships and advanced to the Division III playoffs for the first time in school history in 2005. His Muskie teams never finished lower than second place in the league. Zebrowski was the offensive coordinator at Millikin from 2000-03. He was a graduate assistant at Southern Illinois in 1997, before being elevated to a full-time position. He coached the tight ends, wide receivers and quarterbacks during his time at SIU. Zebrowski began his coaching career in the high school ranks, serving as the offensive coordinator at Preble Shawnee (Ohio) High School from 1991-94 and the same role at Berea (Ohio) High School from 1994-97. Zebrowski earned his bachelor's degree from Mount Union in 1991. He played quarterback at mount Union in 1987 and 1988. He also holds a master's degree from Southern Illinois. He is a graduate of Strongsville (Ohio) High School.

"Jimmy is a young man that we hired a year ago and was a perfect fit for our staff and our guys," Kill said. "He is an excellent quarterbacks coach. He's been an offensive coordinator and a head coach. He's just a tremendous quarterbacks coach. I've never been around anyone like him. For us, developing a new quarterback, this is a critical hire for us. We're so glad to have him on board. He's done an outstanding job for us."

In addition, Kill has also announced that current graduate assistants Daryl Agpalsa and Jesse Nelson will both remain with the Minnesota staff in their current roles. Both Agpalsa and Nelson recently completed their first seasons as graduate assistants with the Gopher program. Agpalsa works with the offense, while Nelson is a member of the defensive staff.

"Daryl and Jesse have done a great job since I've been here," Kill said. "They have fit in, helped us, worked hard. I've been a graduate assistant and I know what it's like. Everything's been a good fit from the graduate assistant area and I think that's a big plus for us right now."

Courtesy: University of Minnesota Communications


Gopher Illustrated Top Stories