Kill Announces More Staff Additions

University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill has announced the hiring of the remainder of his staff. Jay Sawvel rounds out the on-field coaching staff for the Gophers. He will coach the defensive backs and serve as special teams coordinator. Sawvel has coached under Kill for the past 10 years, beginning at Southern Illinois in 2001 and moving on to Northern Illinois in 2008.

"Jay is an outstanding coach and a tremendous recruiter," Kill said. "He's a relentless guy. He's been with me a long time and that's important."

Sawvel helped lead the Huskies to a No. 16 national ranking in scoring defense last season. NIU also ranked No. 28 in total defense in 2010. Sawvel's defensive backs were an integral part of a Huskie defense that recorded 16 interceptions last season, to rank No. 21 in the nation. In each of Sawvel's first two seasons at Northern, the Huskies led the Mid-American Conference in total defense.

On special teams, the Huskies blocked 17 kicks in Sawvel's three seasons.

In seven seasons at Southern Illinois, Sawvel's defensive backs helped hold opposing offenses to just 18.5 points per game. In 2007, the Salukis tallied 21 interceptions (fourth most in the nation) and the defensive backs accounted for nearly 53 percent of the team's total tackles. In 2004, SIU led the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 13.2 points per game. The Salukis intercepted 17 passes, while allowing just 12 passing touchdowns.

Special teams were strong at SIU under Sawvel, as well. The Salukis ranked No. 1 in the Gateway Conference and No. 7 in the nation in net punting, while leading the conference and ranking No. 6 in the country in kickoff returns. Sawvel coached two special teams All-Americans in 2007. Overall, Sawvel's units blocked multiple kicks in six of his seven years at SIU.

Prior to coaching at SIU, Sawvel coached at Ferris State in 1999 and 2000. FSU won the 1999 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 1999. Sawvel also has experience as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame and Eastern Kentucky.

On the field, Sawvel was a three-year letterwinner and an all-conference linebacker in 1993 at Mount Union, which won the NCAA Division III Championship that season. He holds a bachelor's degree from Mount Union and master's degrees from both Eastern Kentucky and Notre Dame.

Kill also named Minnesota native Eric Klein as the Gophers' head strength and conditioning coach. Klein has been coaching with Kill for the past 17 years.

"Eric Klein is a guy that I can't say enough about," Kill said. "He's been with me longer than anybody. No disrespect to any of our other coaches, he is the reason we've been successful in turning around programs. The reason. The best in the country, in my opinion. There is no doubt in my mind. He is a great strength coach. I'm excited that he's with us. Without him, we would not be where we're at. He may be the biggest hire that I've made."

For the past three years, Klein served as the Director of Sports Performance at Northern Illinois, where he oversaw sports performance for all 17 sports.

During his time at Southern Illinois, Klein designed the strength and conditioning programs for the five-time Missouri Valley Conference Champion Saluki men's basketball team and the three-time Gateway Conference Champion football team. Klein also helped design a new strength and conditioning center while he was at Southern Illinois.

Prior to taking on the strength and conditioning program, Klein coached the defensive line at SIU in 2000 and 2001. Klein coached the defensive line and implemented the strength and conditioning program at Emporia (Kan.) State from 1999-2000. He began his coaching career at Saginaw Valley State in 1994, where he designed and created the strength and conditioning program. He also served as an assistant football and track and field coach at Saginaw Valley.

Klein is a member of and is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting and the National Association of Speed and Explosion. He is also a member of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.

Klein holds a bachelor's degree from Carleton College and graduated from Apple Valley High School. He holds a master's degree from Emporia State.

In addition, Kill has named Brian Anderson and Nate Griffin to quality control positions. Anderson will serve in the defensive side, while Griffin will be on the offensive side of the ball.

Anderson has been on Kill's staff for the last 10 years as an on-field assistant. He coached the tight ends at Northern Illinois for the past three years and coached the wide receivers and kick returners at Southern Illinois from 2001-07.

"Brian is one of the best evaluators we have in recruiting," Kill said. "He's coached tight ends and tackles. He's coached wide receivers. He's been at the junior college level as a coach. He will evaluate the recruiting film and be a part of that evaluation system. He will work as a pro liaison and also mentor some of our at-risk kids.

"Brian is a guy that I trust a lot," Kill added. "He's willing to give up being on the field to be a part of this. He's been very important in the aspect of evaluation of talent and probably a big reason we've had the success we've had."

Prior to joining Coach Kill's staff at Southern Illinois, Anderson coached at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College from 1997-2000. At Coffeyville, three of his student-athletes went on to play in the National Football League. Anderson also coached for two seasons at Highland Community College in Kansas (1996-97). He began his coaching career at Western Illinois, serving as a student assistant in 1994, before being promoted to the restricted earnings position coaching the wide receivers in 1995-96.

Anderson's playing career began at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa. At Ellsworth, Anderson took part in the 1988 Royal Crown Cola Bowl and the 1989 Mid-American Bowl, tha season's NJCAA national championship game. He then moved on to Western Illinois, where he lettered in 1991 and 1992.

Anderson holds a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois.

Griffin comes to Minnesota from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., where he served as the defensive line coach last season. Griffin worked with Kill at Northern Illinois as a graduate assistant in 2008 and 2009, where he worked with the running backs and fullbacks.

"Nate and I have close ties," Kill said. "He's a football guy. He understands the game. Nate will evaluate a lot of the recruiting film from the offensive side. Nate understands what I want."

Griffin was on the staff at Northern Colorado from 2006-07, assisting the recruiting coordinator and overseeing the video operations. As a student-athlete, Griffin played at the University of Idaho from 2000-2003. He was named to the Sun Belt Conference Honor Roll in 2002.

Griffin was a student-assistant strength coach for the Vandals in 2004, then worked for one year at Poudre High School in For Collins, Colo. as the linebackers coach in 2005.

Griffin holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Idaho.

Adam Clark has been named director of player personnel. He will oversee the Gophers' recruiting efforts. Prior to joining the Minnesota staff, Clark was the Director for Football Operations at Northern Illinois for the past three seasons, eventually being promoted to the title of Assistant Athletic Director before his departure.

"Adam did a great job for us at Northern Illinois," Kill said. "He will work on the player personnel side and oversee recruiting."

At Northern Illinois, Clark was responsible for team travel, meals, game day operations, and many other organizational and operational duties. He served as a liaison with the Huskie equipment staff and media relations office as well.

Clark began his career in 2005 at Texas A&M, where he served as a football operations assistant through 2007. With the Aggies, Clark supervised team meals, buses, hotels and practice security.

Clark holds a bachelor's degree from Pittsburg (Kan.) State, where he played baseball for two seasons.

Billy Glasscock has been named director of recruiting operations. Glasscock will oversee official visits, walk-on recruiting and other aspects of the recruiting operation.

"Billy is a guy who has coached in junior college and worked for me at Northern Illinois," Kill said. "He understands what I want, who I'm looking for, what I expect and the discipline we operate under."

Glasscock was a recruiting operations assistant and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Northern Illinois for the past two years. Prior to his time at NIU, he coached at Arizona Western College and Joliet Junior College.

Glasscock holds a bachelor's degree from the United States Sports Academy.


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