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.

hide

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

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Dml -

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

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.

Southern comfort

Southern Illinois

Before: The Salukis went 14-30 under Jan Quarless from 1997 to 2000.

During (2001-07): Kill went 1-10 his first year and 10-2 his third year. His teams went 50-14 over his final five seasons, reaching the Division I-AA playoffs each time.

After: Dale Lennon led the Salukis to conference titles in 2008 and 2009, but the team has leveled off and currently sits at 5-5.

Northern exposure

Northern Illinois

Before: The Huskies went 2-10 in 2007 under then-coach Joe Novak.

During (2008-10): Kill’s teams went 6-7, 7-6 and 11-3.

After: The Huskies went 11-3 and 12-2 under Dave Doeren, reaching the Orange Bowl last season before he jumped to North Carolina State. Rod Carey, a Wayzata High graduate, has taken over for Doeren, and the Huskies currently rank 20th in the nation.

Kill has had defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover, tight ends coach Rob Reeves and strength and conditioning coach Eric Klein with him since Saginaw Valley State.

Kill said he has told each administration to take care of his assistant coaches financially and upgrade the practice facilities. He’s proud of the facilities upgrades at Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois, which both came after he left.

Kill’s staff has made academics a priority and pushed players to get bigger and stronger in the weight room. The Gophers went 3-9 and 6-7 under Kill their first two years and currently sit 8-2 heading into next week’s showdown with Wisconsin.

“Coach Claeys said it, and I’ve said it, ‘We know we can still get a lot better,’ ” Kill said. “That’s what we did at Northern and Southern. We built a heck of a foundation, a heck of a base, and then you can continue to win.””

Big Ten short takes

• Michigan’s running game is going backward, literally. The Wolverines rushed for minus-48 yards in their loss to Michigan State two weeks ago, and minus-21 yards in last week’s loss to Nebraska.

Michigan boasts one of the nation’s best offensive linemen in left tackle Taylor Lewan, but the interior line has been suspect all season. Michigan will try to rebound on Saturday at Northwestern.

• Northwestern’s stunning collapse this season includes one ray of hope for next year. The Wildcats are confident senior running back Venric Mark will get a medical redshirt after missing the first four games because of a hamstring injury and then breaking his ankle on Oct. 12 against Wisconsin.

Mark rushed for 1,366 yards last year but had just 97 yards this year.

• The Gophers strengthened next year’s nonconference schedule when they added TCU, but the Horned Frogs are a mere 3-6 this year. Minnesota still will have the toughest two interdivision games of any team in the Big Ten West, drawing Ohio State and Michigan. But the Gophers also will get a three-game stretch in October against Northwestern, Purdue and Illinois — three teams that are a combined 0-15 this year in the Big Ten.

Big Ten power poll

1. Ohio State (9-0, 5-0): The Buckeyes rank fifth nationally in scoring offense and eighth in scoring defense.

2. Wisconsin (7-2, 4-1): Team stayed focused after Arizona State loss, but bad officiating call hovers over everything.

3. Michigan State (8-1, 5-0): Spartans don’t play Ohio State or Wisconsin this year, making path to division title easier.

4. Gophers (8-2, 4-2): Rank sixth in Big Ten in scoring offense (30.7 points per game) and scoring defense (23.4)

5. Nebraska (7-2, 4-1): The Cornhuskers haven’t folded, even if a foot injury likely ended the Taylor Martinez era.

6. Iowa (6-4, 3-3): The Hawkeyes’ three Big Ten losses were to the top three teams in this power poll.

7. Michigan (6-3, 2-3): Brady Hoke looked beaten down after back-to-back losses to Michigan State and Nebraska.

8. Penn State (5-4, 2-3): The Nittany Lions need another spark and should find one Saturday when Purdue visits.

9. Indiana (4-5, 2-3): The Hoosiers will miss running back Tevin Coleman (ankle injury) at Wisconsin on Saturday.

10. Northwestern (4-5, 0-5): It’s surprising to think that the Wildcats haven’t won since defeating Maine on Sept. 21.

11. Illinois (3-6, 0-5): Indiana loss left fans restless about coach Tim Beckman again, and here comes Ohio State.

12. Purdue (1-8, 0-5): Schedule gets easier (Penn State, Illinois, then Indiana) and Boilermakers need it.

  • related content

  • Big Ten power poll

    Thursday November 14, 2013

    BIG TEN POWER POLL1. Ohio State (9-0, 5-0): The Buckeyes rank fifth nationally in scoring offense and eighth in scoring...

  • Joe Christensen's short takes

    Thursday November 14, 2013

    • Michigan’s running game is going backward, literally. The Wolverines rushed for minus-48 yards in their loss to Michigan State...

  • For 25 years coach Jerry Kill has turned around struggling football programs at various levels.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 Top 4th Inning
Minnesota 2
New York 41 3rd Qtr
Indiana 65
Phoenix 43 3rd Qtr
Orlando 52
Cleveland 28 2nd Qtr 10:54
Toronto 27
Utah 21 2nd Qtr 8:49
Boston 18
Charlotte 35 2nd Qtr 10:32
Brooklyn 17
Denver 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Detroit 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Memphis 7:00 PM
Houston
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 1 1st Prd 8:01
Winnipeg 0
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Detroit
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 80
Ohio State 75 2nd Half 1:34
Penn State 62
Maine 25 2nd Half 18:40
Albany 49
Duquesne 43 2nd Half 18:00
Fordham 35
George Washington 29 2nd Half 19:30
George Mason 32
Tennessee 45 2nd Half 15:22
LSU 39
Notre Dame 42 2nd Half 16:13
Louisville 42
SE Missouri St 44 2nd Half 14:58
Morehead State 44
St Francis-PA 33 2nd Half 16:59
Mount St Marys 31
Hartford 37 2nd Half 15:48
New Hampshire 33
Wagner 36 2nd Half 15:09
Robert Morris 47
Long Island 27 2nd Half 18:10
St Francis-NY 38
La Salle 23 2nd Half 18:39
Saint Josephs 24
Providence 33 2nd Half 19:06
Seton Hall 37
UCF 23 2nd Half 19:13
South Florida 45
Binghamton 25 2nd Half 18:43
Stony Brook 25
UMBC 18 2nd Half 15:09
Vermont 39
Sacred Heart 42 2nd Half 15:57
Bryant 35
Richmond 27 1st Half 2:56
Massachusetts 25
Wake Forest 0 1st Half 19:04
Duke 5
Purdue 7:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Florida 5 1st Half 17:56
Pittsburgh 0
St Bonaventure 0 1st Half 18:12
Saint Louis 3
New Mexico St 0 1st Half 19:44
TX-Pan American 0
Houston 6 1st Half 14:50
Tulane 3
Howard 2 1st Half 18:24
NJIT 3
SIU Edwardsville 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill
St Johns 8:00 PM
Marquette
TCU 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cincinnati 8:00 PM
Tulsa
USC 8:00 PM
UCLA
Miss State 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Air Force 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nebraska 9:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:00 PM
San Jose St
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 44 2nd Half 7:11
Georgia Tech 61
Davidson 35 2nd Half 15:15
La Salle 44
Loyola-Maryland 27 2nd Half 17:18
Lafayette 31
Boston U 28 2nd Half 12:43
Colgate 40
Coll of Charleston 34 2nd Half 19:16
James Madison 58
Delaware 37 2nd Half 20:00
Elon 32
Drexel 36 2nd Half 14:01
Northeastern 24
Hofstra 36 2nd Half 20:00
UNC-Wilmington 38
Towson 34 2nd Half 15:15
William & Mary 45
Miami-Ohio 30 2nd Half 20:00
Akron 36
Ball State 48 2nd Half 16:29
Central Michigan 32
Buffalo 22 2nd Half
Bowling Green 22
Western Mich 34 2nd Half 16:52
Eastern Michigan 38
Ohio U 39 2nd Half 17:08
Kent State 28
Youngstown St 44 2nd Half 15:45
Cleveland State 40
Illinois-Chicago 18 2nd Half 17:07
Wright State 50
Alabama 18 1st Half 6:01
Vanderbilt 22
Detroit 2 1st Half 18:02
Milwaukee 3
Purdue 7:25 PM
Wisconsin
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close