Cheney native Jerry Kill, whose 32-year football coaching career spanned 156 wins as a head coach and included remarkable turnarounds and results, is returning home to the state of Kansas as K-State Athletics Director John Currie announced today that the former Minnesota head coach has been named Associate Athletics Director for Administration.
In his new role, Kill will be a member of Currie’s senior departmental staff and serve as chief administrator for the K-State football program. Kill retired from Minnesota and the coaching profession in 2015 due to health reasons and is excited to enter a new administrative phase of his career.
“We are thrilled that Jerry and Rebecca are coming home to join the K-State family,” Currie said. “He is ready to move into a new chapter of his life and professional career, and his experience as a former head coach will be a terrific addition to our staff. We look forward to the perspective and mentoring he will provide our coaches and student-athletes as we continue toward our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.”
“Rebecca and I couldn’t be happier to return home to the state of Kansas and join the K-State Athletics family and Manhattan community,” Kill said. “I want to make it known that my coaching days are over, and I am excited to start this next phase as an administrator for one of the finest athletics departments in the country. Mentoring has always been very important to me, and I am thrilled to work in support of Hall of Fame Coach Bill Snyder and the football program and learn more about the administrative side of college athletics under John and the rest of the first-class staff at K-State.”
A three-time national coach of the year honoree, Kill recorded winning seasons in 15 of his 22 years as a college head coach. He most recently coached at Minnesota, from 2011-2015, where he took the Gophers to heights not seen in recent years. In year four, Kill led Minnesota to a January 1 bowl game for the first time since 1962 and coached the Gophers to wins against Michigan and Iowa, which had previously not happened in the same season since 1967. Under Kill’s direction, Minnesota also won eight games in both 2013 and 2014, which marked only the fifth time since 1906 that Minnesota won eight games in consecutive seasons.
In his previous four stops as a head coach, he never left a school with a sub-.500 record, and in three of his previous four head coaching positions, he took over a team with a losing record and turned in a winning season in three years or less.
“Sean and I have spent a great deal of time with Jerry and Rebecca and feel as though they will be a solid addition to our Kansas State and community family,” said Snyder. “Both are down to earth, caring people who fit well in this culture. Jerry’s health issues have precluded him from coaching again, but his passion for athletics and young people make this a positive step for his future career.”
Prior to his stint at Minnesota, Kill led Northern Illinois to 23 wins and three consecutive bowl games during his tenure and also coached NIU to a berth the Mid-American Conference Championship game in 2010.
Prior to serving as the head coach at NIU, Kill was in charge of the football program at Southern Illinois, an FCS program in Carbondale, Ill. He spent seven years on the Saluki sideline and compiled a 55-32 record. Kill’s record over his final five seasons with Southern Illinois was 50-14 and included five consecutive NCAA FCS Playoff appearances.
Kill was the head coach at Emporia (Kan.) State for two seasons in 1999-2000. He went 11-11 with the Hornets, who play at the NCAA Division II level. Prior to Emporia State, Kill was the head coach at NCAA Division II member Saginaw Valley State from 1994-1998. He compiled a 38-14 record with the Cardinals.
Kill served as defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator in two different stops at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University. He helped lead the Gorillas to three NAIA playoff appearances as the defensive coordinator from 1985-87. Kill returned to Pitt State as the offensive coordinator from 1990-93. In that four-year span, the Gorillas advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs four times, reaching the championship game twice and winning the 1991 national title.
Sandwiched between his stints at Pittsburg State, Kill was the head coach at Webb City (Mo.) High School. He was 25-1 in two seasons at Webb City and won a state championship in 1989.
Kill, a 1983 graduate of Southwestern (Kan.) College, and his wife Rebecca have two daughters, Krystal and Tasha.