Jerry Kill Added To Vanderbilt Football Coaching Staff


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt football head coach Clark Lea has announced that veteran coach Jerry Kill will join Vanderbilt as chief consultant to the head coach and senior offensive advisor.

Kill comes to Nashville following two seasons at the head coach at New Mexico State, where he engineered one of the best turnarounds in the country. Newly minted Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Tim Beck served in the same role on Kill’s staff in Las Cruces. Kill has previously served as head coach at Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Emporia State and Saginaw Valley State. In addition, Kill has served in assistant to the head coach roles at Virginia Tech and TCU and has spent time as an administrator at Kansas State and Southern Illinois.

“I’m excited to welcome Coach Kill to Vanderbilt,” Lea said. “He is a proven builder of strong, winning cultures. His leadership and experience will be tremendous assets as we build Vanderbilt football into the dominant program we all expect it to be.”

Kill spent the past two seasons at New Mexico State, leading the Aggies to a pair of bowl games and berth in the Conference USA championship game. He inherited a program that had won more than three games just once since 2010 and won a bowl game in his first season, then reached 10 wins and the CUSA title game in the school’s first season in the league. 2023 marked NMSU’s first 10-win season since 1960 and the bowl win in 2022 was the school’s first postseason victory since 2017.

In addition, the Aggies put an end to multiple streaks during Kill’s tenure. They defeated a Southeastern Conference team for the first time in 28 tries with a win at Auburn, won five straight home games for the first time since 2002, defeated UTEP and New Mexico on the road in the same season for the first time since 1923 and won on the road for the first time since 2018.

Prior to New Mexico State, Kill spent two seasons at TCU as assistant to the head coach and later interim head coach. He was head coach Gary Patterson’s assistant for 2020 and entered 2021 in the same role, then took over as interim head coach for four games in 2021 after Patterson was dismissed. Kill’s first game as interim head coach saw the Horned Frogs score a 30-28 win over No. 12 Baylor for their first win over a ranked team in two seasons.

Kill was in a similar assistant to the head coach role at Virginia Tech in 2019, helping the Hokies to an 8-5 record and berth in the Belk Bowl.

In 2018, he made a return engagement at Southern Illinois to serve as special assistant to the chancellor and athletics director. This followed one season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers in 2017. Kill spent the 2016 season as associate athletics director for administration and football administration at Kansas State.

The move to administration came following a five-season stint as head coach at Minnesota which ended due to Kill’s battle with epilepsy. He took over a Golden Gopher squad which had been under .500 in four of the last five seasons and took them to three consecutive bowl games from 2012-14. Minnesota was 8-5 in 2013 and 2014, earning Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2014. That Gopher squad reached Minnesota’s first New Year’s Day bowl game in 53 years, falling to Missouri in the Citrus Bowl, defeated Michigan for the first time in nearly a decade and secured consecutive wins over Nebraska for the first time since the 1950s.

Kill had performed a similar turnaround effort at Northern Illinois before Minnesota, spending 2008-10 as the head coach in DeKalb, Illinois. Kill inherited a program that went 2-10 the season prior to his arrival and had been to just one bowl game in the previous 12 seasons. He took the Huskies to bowl games in all three seasons leading the program and in 2010, led NIU to its first 10-win season since 2003.

Prior to NIU, Kill was the head coach at Southern Illinois from 2001-07. There he inherited a program that had just two winning seasons over the previous 17 years. Kill went 1-10 his first season, but turned it around quickly to post a 10-2 record in his third year. In 2004, the Salukis went 9-0 against fellow FBS opponents, including 7-0 in the Gateway Conference, earning a national ranking for the final 10 weeks of the season. Kill earned the Eddie Robinson Award as FCS coach of the year. His final Saluki team in 2007 went 12-2, the second-most wins in program history, and reached the FCS semifinals, the deepest run for SIU since 1983. He was named Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year that season, the first FCS coach to earn the award.

Before Southern Illinois, Kill spent two seasons at Division II Emporia State in his native Kansas. This followed a successful five-year run as head coach at Saginaw Valley (Mich.) State. He had five consecutive winning seasons with the Cardinals, highlighted by a pair of 9-2 marks in 1997 and ’98. Both those teams led D-II in rushing.

Kill’s coaching career started at Pittsburg State in Kansas, where he served as defensive coordinator from 1985-87 and offensive coordinator from 1991-93. He was the defensive coordinator for three seasons at the NAIA level before departing to be the head coach at Webb City High School in Missouri where he coached Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. He returned to help Pitt State in the transition to NCAA Division II and was offensive coordinator for head coach Chuck Broyles from 1991-93. In his first season, the Gorillas went 13-1-1 and won the D-II national championship. In two of his three seasons as offensive coordinator, Pittsburg State reached the NCAA final twice.

Kill played at Southwestern College in Kansas while earning his undergraduate degree there in 1984. He has been inducted into multiple Halls of Fame, including at Southern Illinois, Southwestern College and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

He spends much of his off-the-field time as an advocate for epilepsy. He formed the Coach Kill Fund at Southern Illinois and the Chasing Dreams Coach Kill Epilepsy Fund at Minnesota. The National Football Foundation presented Kill with its Courage Award in 2009. He continues to assist in fundraising for the National Foundation of Epilepsy and chronicled his experiences in his 2016 book Chasing Dreams: Living My Life One Yard at a Time.

Kill has two daughters, Krystal and Tasha, and a granddaughter, Emery.

Source: Vanderbilt
More Sports News

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here