College Football Insider: Kill has history of success

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 15, 2013 - 12:24 AM

The Gopher’s coach has a good track record of bettering programs and he has continued that with the U.


Coach Jerry Kill, players and coaches celebrate a touchdown at TCF Bank Stadium

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Dml -

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Gophers coach Jerry Kill has a history of turning around football programs that dates to his time at Webb City High School in the southwest corner of Missouri.

Most of those teams are still thriving, long after he’s left. It’s not just Northern Illinois, which improved to 10-0 with Wednesday’s win over Ball State.

Here’s a closer look at Kill’s path and how each program fared before he arrived, during his tenure, and after he left:

Untangling Webb

Webb City (Mo.) High School

Before: The Cardinals went 6-5 and 6-4 in the two seasons before Kill arrived.

During (1988-89): Kill went 11-1 and 14-0, leading the team to its first state championship in 1989.

After: Webb City has added nine state titles since Kill left and is riding a 51-game winning streak heading into Friday’s Class 4A quarterfinal.

Stating the obvious

Saginaw Valley (Mich.) State

Before: The Cardinals went 4-7 in 1993.

During (1994-98): Kill went 38-14 in five seasons, including 9-2 each of his final two years.

After: The Cardinals went 4-6 in 1999, their first season under Randy Awry, and 72-31 overall in his nine seasons. This year, SVSU is 9-1 and ranks 15th in Division II, a division led by Minnesota-State Mankato.

One that got away

Emporia (Kan.) State

Before: The Hornets went 9-2 in 1998.

During (1999-2000): Kill went 5-6 and 6-5 in his two seasons after moving closer to his family’s Kansas home while his father was dying of pancreatic cancer.

After: The Hornets went 35-32 over the next six seasons under then-coach Dave Wiemers. They went 10-2 last year and are 9-1 this season, ranking 16th in Division II, right behind Saginaw Valley State.

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