On first look, Kill sees work ahead

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 11, 2011 - 7:07 AM

The new coach says his players have to show him something on and off the field, for a long period of time.

With the second semester in session at the University of Minnesota, new Gophers football coach Jerry Kill is getting his first looks at the players he will coach this fall as they show up at 6 a.m. for workouts at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex.

Kill has a reputation for telling it like it is. And to be honest, he wasn't impressed with his first look at the 2011 squad. Overall, he believes his staff has a lot of work to do, including recruiting, to build a winner out of the Gophers.

"I think the first time I got a chance to be with our kids was on Monday in the early-morning workouts, and I certainly didn't think we gave the type of effort and performance that we need to give," Kill said. "But I don't think it's that they didn't want to. I think they needed to be shown what we wanted. So on Tuesday, we taught a little better, and Thursday and Friday they got taught a little better and they worked hard."

Kill believes strength and conditioning coach Eric Klein -- an Apple Valley and Carleton alum who has worked for Kill for 17 years -- has his work cut out for him.

"I told Coach Klein you're accountable, you have to get these young men stronger and faster, because we just don't have the speed and strength that we need to have at this point in time to compete where we want to go," Kill said. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but the encouraging thing is we got better every day, I will say that."

Kill added: "There's nothing to tell a football player until you put them in shoulder pads and you get them out there on the field and see how quick they learn and how smart they play. Sometimes you'll go through an offseason and there will be somebody that will surprise you, maybe runs a little better than you think he does when he puts those pads on. I don't think we can really make a fair evaluation on these young people until we go through a five- or six-month period with them and see how they do. Because not only do they have to do it on the field, they've got to be able to do it in the classroom, too, so that's a two-fold thing there."

Three spring goals

Kill set up his plan for the spring, saying he has three goals.

"Number one is we've got to learn how to work hard," he said. "Number two is no academic casualties. In other words we've got to do a better job in academics. Number three is learn the Minnesota way; we've got to learn to do things the way I expect and our coaching staff expects them to do it, and that's the Minnesota way. So we've got to be held accountable, and so far, so good. But anybody can be accountable for two weeks. Can you do it for a long period of time?"

This is the fifth college coaching job Kill has taken, and he said the job wouldn't be open if everything was perfect here.

"There's some things we need to address, and there's some things that I said, 'I didn't think it was quite this bad.' Then there's things that I said, 'Well, this is pretty darn good, not too bad,' " Kill said. "There's nothing that can't be fixed. It's just hard work and working together with people and getting to know the system a little bit. I think it's all about relationships and trusting people and trusting each other.

"I've said this all along: One coach is not going to turn this thing around. There's been a lot of good coaches come in here and are not here anymore and it's not [just] the coach, it's a group of people that have to work together for one common cause, and that's to have a better football team. We can do that. That's my job, to get the people to understand what it takes to win at any level. It doesn't matter if you're high school, college, there's a formula, and I know as a staff, we know what it takes to win, and there's some things we've got to get straightened out and we're going to work through that."

There is a reason that Tim Brewster was fired, Glen Mason was fired before him, Jim Wacker before him, and you could go on. With no conference championship since 1967, coaches get fired.

No doubt Kill has walked into a very tough situation. And no doubt he finds something every day that has to be fixed. But he has impressed everybody who has been around him, and if anybody can do the job, I believe he can.

Took the wrong job

Brad Childress can look back to Jan. 4, 2006, when he let the Wilf brothers, owners of the Vikings, talked him out of making a scheduled trip to Green Bay to interview for the Packers coaching job before he decided to become the coach of the Vikings.

Had Childress stalled the Wilfs and interviewed with the Packers, who can guess what might have happened. I am sure he was the first choice of the Packers and could have had that job. Instead Mike McCarthy was hired to replace Mike Sherman on Jan. 12.

After interviewing for the offensive coordinator jobs with the Dolphins and Bengals, unless something really good comes up, Childress will sit out this year and draw his $3 million salary.


• The Eden Prairie football team went to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to play two games last year because the Eagles couldn't get enough teams to play them around here. This year, one of their opponents on a full schedule is Minneapolis South. Meanwhile, rumors continue that history might be made in city high school sports this fall with both North and Roosevelt not having enough candidates to field a football team.

• Sitting in on the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission meeting Thursday to decide the fate of the Metrodome roof was the first Vikings player to ever serve on the board, Tim Baylor, a safety in 1979-80. ... With the Dome still unavailable, the Gophers baseball team has started preparing for the 2011 season working in the Gibson-Nagurski Complex.

• One of the top-recruited football players in the state is Prior Lake junior Karmichael Dunbar, son of Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. The younger Dunbar, a 6-2, 290-pound defensive tackle, has been invited to not only the Minnesota summer football camp but ones at Iowa, Wisconsin and Louisiana State.

• Andre Hollins, the Gophers basketball recruit out of White Station High School in Memphis, Tenn., continues do a good job, scoring 20 and 16 points in victories last week. ... Hopkins' Joe Coleman, the other Gophers recruit signed for next season, had 17 and 16 points, respectively, in victories over Wayzata and Minnetonka the past week.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Jerry Kill

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 24 3rd Qtr 13:18
Atlanta 3
Detroit 7 3rd Qtr 15:00
Green Bay 14
Oakland 7 3rd Qtr 15:00
Denver 20
Arizona 17 3rd Qtr
San Francisco 13
St. Louis 6 3rd Qtr 14:00
Seattle 0
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
Detroit 75 3rd Qtr 2:56
Cleveland 57
Houston 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 6:30 PM
New York 8:00 PM
Toronto 8:00 PM
Phoenix 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 0 2nd Prd
Florida 0
Vancouver 7:00 PM
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 52 1st OT 0:56
Cornell 47
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 57 FINAL
Xavier 71
SD Christian 45 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Judson 32 2nd Half 9:23
IUPU-Ft Wayne 72
Ill-Chicago 25 2nd Half
Bradley 27
Loyola-Maryland 23 2nd Half
Fairfield 29
Miss Valley St 31 2nd Half
Houston 40
Lehigh 31 2nd Half
Delaware State 21 2nd Half
Temple 31
Belmont 5:00 PM
Howard 5:00 PM
NW Christian 5:00 PM
UC Davis 0 1st Half 19:37
Washington St 0
Abilene Christian 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UCLA 5:30 PM
Stony Brook 7:00 PM
Buffalo 7:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 82 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
Michigan 53 FINAL
Wisconsin 63
Colgate 52 2nd Half 7:45
Siena 57
Fla Gulf Coast 53 2nd Half 5:02
CS-Northridge 56
Yale 32 2nd Half 9:14
(25) Arizona State 53
UC Santa Barbara 19 2nd Half 15:02
(16) Stanford 52
Long Island 40 2nd Half
Long Beach St 22
Jackson State 25 2nd Half
Louisiana 29
Eureka 25 1st Half 3:50
Western Ill 41
Cornell 0 1st Half 18:26
(22) Syracuse 3
Temple 7:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question