Gophers Hire New Football Coach: Jerry Kill

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota has chosen Jerry Kill as the new head coach of the football team, signing him to a five-year contract Sunday night.

The 49-year-old is currently the head football coach at Northern Illinois, where he’s held the position since 2008. Before NIU, Kill coached at Southern Illinois, Emporia State and Saginaw Valley State University.

Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi confirmed the decision in a text message to The Associated Press on Sunday night.

“We cast a wide net in this search, but the name we kept coming back to was Jerry Kill,” Maturi said in a statement. “Coach Kill has won at every level of coaching and has a history of rebuilding programs. I’m confident we have chosen the right man to lead the Golden Gopher program.”

Kill replaces Tim Brewster who had a 15-30 record with the Gophers before he was fired in October. Kill has a 127-73 career record in 17 seasons of collegiate coaching.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at the University of Minnesota,” Kill said in the statement released by the University of Minnesota. “It is a tremendous opportunity and — I think — great timing. I can promise all the people at the University of Minnesota and throughout the entire state that I am going to give them every single ounce that I can give them. I have done that on every job that I have taken. I was raised the old-school way by my father and mother to do my job to the very best of my ability. You go full speed at it and you don’t let anyone out-work you. I have lived by that motto my entire life and that is what I intend to do at the University of Minnesota.”

WCCO has also learned that Kill will not coach NIU in their upcoming bowl game against Fresno State — the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 18.

A news conference with Kill and Maturi will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday at TCF Bank Stadium.

WCCO-TV’s Mark Rosen Reports

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  • yourwhathurts

    WOW, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited for this (not). This kind of hire just shows how big of loser that Joe Maturi really is!

  • Duke

    Nobody wanted the job… I think we should move into the MAC.

  • Won't need tickets

    This is a slap in the face for Horton, people could have understood sticking with hime instead of getting this guy.

  • rangerlu

    I’m a season ticket holder and certainly interested in the improvement of the FB program here;however, I’ve never heard of this guy, nor much of Northern Illinois????? What happened to the “high-profile” coach that we need to win games and imporve the caliber of the players? Mr Horton should feel overlooked——–

    • Spartan Pride

      Because you have never heard of him he’s a bad hire??? NIU was the #25th ranked team in the country last week. Give this guy a chance before you condemn him

  • Bill

    WOW people, give the guy a chance!

    • Duke

      Nothing against Jerry Kill, I’m sure he is a good football coach just like many other coaches that have come and gone here. The program was in desperate need of a name coach to give the program credibility and a recruiting edge. Tough with out a high profile guy… I hope i’m wrong…

  • b wallum

    thats another fine mess you got us into. fire maturi now.

  • Chris Moe

    All right, rubes. You know so much better than Joe Maturi. Without Googling, what is Jerry Kill’s track record? And Go!!!

    Oh that’s right. How do you know he’s so bad for the Gophers if you haven’t even looked?

    • William Dwinells Jr

      he coaches a crappy team in the MAC conference. He has a slightly better than average record and no, I repeat, NO recruiting prowess. In the Big Ten, competing against OSU, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, and MSU, you need, NEED, NEED, recruiting other wise you will never do a damn thing! Pull your head out of your butt Chris… Look at the Gopher basketball program, they got the idea, they hired a big name coach (to recruit) and it has paid off. The gophers, more importantly Maturi, dropped the ball here and now we will have to wait another 3 years before we can fire Kill and Maturi and then another 3 before the new coach and AD get a good recruiting class together. You clearly have no concept of how college football works Chris. It isn’t about finding the next “diamond in the rough coach” like it is in the NFL. If Kill had won a MAC Championship or done ANYTHING worth spit we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But since he is a NOBODY, and has no recruiting tout, this will be another utter failure by Maturi, guaranteed.

  • Rocky

    It’s high time to fire Maturi. The Gophers are the laughing stock of the Big 10. Get rid of that loser maturi. What a freaking disaster!!!

  • Tom

    One again, I think the person making the decision should have been more closely evaluated, particularly after the Brewster hire. As I season ticket holder I will not be renewing. And to Bill, you are the type of person who said we should give Brewster a chance and look how he took the program down several notches from where Mason had the program. Mr Maturi should have been replaced after the hiring decision he made took the program to an all time low. I mean reall,y we lost to North Dakota State and South Dakota in Brewster time here and we hire a division 2 coach . Shame on this program, you promised a high profile coach and brought in a division two coach. The stadium will be half empty again.

  • One Happy Gopher

    I didn’t realize how little people know about football. Brewster was a high profile coach coming from the NFL down to “save” the program. We do not need a celebrity. We need a football coach. Jerry Kill has been a head coach at every level, Brewster was never a head coach at any level. Jerry Kill has turned around every program he has ever coached. For those of you who want to fire Maturi or won’t give Kill a chance should just not renew your season tickets. For everyone else, double your order, you won’t be disappointed. This is a thoughtful hire that will prove to be the right choice for many years.

    • thumbody

      One Happy Gopher: Please define every level did you forget the big 10 and the professional ranks?

  • Joe

    what happened to finding a big name coach? Atleast kill has some head coaching experience compared to brewster

  • jerrie

    give the guy a chance before u cut him down

  • cdog

    Kill is a good choice. NIU didn’t want to lose him.

  • joey j

    The inmates are running the asylum!

  • Jeff Johnson

    What a horrible choice for a new head coach. Maybe (I doubt it) Jerry Kill will make me eat my words. Minnesota AD Maturi needs to be fired, now, yesterday if at all possible. I mean how can it get anyworse for the Gophers.
    And for you saying “Give him a chance” if you big name hire needs that introduction than they are the wrong person for the job. As Such…

  • Buster

    This will KILL the program.

  • Kyle

    NO it won’t … the stadium will be sold out next fall and we’ll be glad you stayed home.

  • Grad and glad

    Great news. The football program is finally moving forward. This is a great day for all U of M football fans. NI fans must be very upset. What a great early Christmas present. I questioned Maturi in the past but now I think he’s a genius. I can’t believe he pulled this off. I already smell the roses.

  • Hard to Continue to Support

    Following this absolutely inconceivable decision by Maturi, it is time for all University of Minnesota fans to demand that everyone from Maturi up through and including the Board of Regents be immediately replaced. Any one individual in the REAL WORLD WORK FORCE, that has made the numerous idiotic decisions this group has made, would have been dismissed a very long time ago!! However, here at the University of Minnesota, mediocrity is a lofty GOAL that appears to be acceptable, in both athletics and education! I suggest the State sell the gophers Stadium to the Vikings so the U of M has enough money to pay this new BIG TIME coach his (Maturi once or twice extended) guaranteed contract following his firing at the end of his third year. Mona, I hope you are intelligent enough not to even comment in public!

  • Life goes on

    It’s only football. I hope the Regents have more important things than that on their agenda.

  • Markos

    He’s a good coach and a humble guy. Give him a chance. He’ll be our next Bud Grant.


    maturi must be on the wisconsin payroll

  • Cakes

    Cory Sauter should have been mentioned!

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