After a lot of speculation this past week on who Rutgers football head coach Chris Ash is considering to replace Drew Mehringer, we have our first report confirming a candidate that interviewed for the job.
Former #Gophers coach Jerry Kill was at Rutgers today interviewing for the Offensive Coordinator job. He's in MN tomorrow for book sign.— Joe Schmit (@JoeSchmitKSTP) December 16, 2016
Schmit is the Sports Director at a television station in Minneapolis. It should also be noted that Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media reported interest between Ash and Kill in some respect earlier today, although it wasn’t clear if he was actually a candidate or a consultant.
While Jerry Kill resigned his position as head coach at Minnesota after 4+ seasons last year due to health reasons, it has been said he was itching to get back into the game. He is currently the Associate Athletic Director for Administration at Kansas State, where he does have some involvement with the football program there.
Kill has over 20 years of head coaching experience in college football, so his background is in stark contrast to how Ash approached his staff hires this time last year. He was the head coach at Northern Illinois before Minnesota and turned the MAC program around very quickly. Kill also was a head coach at Division II Saginaw State, as well as Emporia State and Southern Illinois.
The last time Kill was an offensive coordinator was from 1991-1993 at Division II Pittsburg State. However, he is well respected throughout college football circles and led Minnesota to consecutive 8-5 seasons before stepping down midway during the 2015 season.
Kill has suffered from seizures for years and his health ultimately made him decide to leave his role at Minnesota. An update on his recent health status, which is positive news, can be read here. He is fiercely loyal, bringing the majority of his coaching staff with him along multiple stops during his career.
Our friends at the Daily Gopher published this piece analyzing Kill’s offense at Minnesota, which was much more successful in the run game versus the air. He led a read option offense that featured a play action passing game, both with the Gophers and at Northern Illinois.
At this point, it’s safe to assume Ash is actively interviewing candidates and while Kill is the first to be reported as meeting with him, we have no idea how far along he is with the process. It’s likely he is talking to candidates that are preparing for bowl games as well, so the timetable for a hire is unclear. For now, we know Kill is a legitimate candidate for the job. Taking on someone of his experience would be the complete opposite of the Mehringer hire, which is certainly possible. If anything, it does seem Ash is approaching things differently in his search for an OC this time around. More to come as details emerge.
For an update on the search as of 12/17, click here.