Kill raved about three of his assistants in particular when he arrived: Claeys, Limegrover, and strength coach Eric Klein. Now we know this wasn’t just self-congratulatory spin. Claeys and Limegrover have distinguished themselves in Kill’s absence, and Klein’s work has been evident as the Gophers have manhandled two Big Ten teams that have been ranked in the top 25 this season.
Did anyone ever forsee a day when Gophers quarterbacks would be more physical than Nebraska linemen? That day arrived last weekend.
Kill might want to supplement the cash bonuses that Claeys is receiving. He might want to bake him a bundt cake, or upgrade his parking spot. If Claeys had not calmly and adroitly managed this crisis, Kill might be heading for a postseason meeting at which the University nudged him toward a career change.
Instead, Kill is receiving praise for building a program that can withstand his absence.
If the Gophers were 0-4 in the Big Ten, the season would be a disaster and Kill’s career might be nearing an end. Thanks to Claeys and the other Gophers assistants, Kill looks, at least for the moment, like a wise builder of programs, one who will be given every opportunity by his bosses to keep his job.
Bake a cake for those assistants, Jerry. Or at least take them to Stub & Herb’s.
Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • firstname.lastname@example.org