Southern Illinois Special Assistant to the Chancellor and acting Athletic Director Jerry Kill will address the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) and Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) National Conventions December 2-5 in Las Vegas. A former college football coach, Kill is well known for his ability to turn around programs and his epilepsy advocacy.
A three-time national coach of the year, Kill currently serves as Southern Illinois’ athletic director and as a university ambassador. He was previously the Saluki’s head football coach from 2001 to 2007, leading the Salukis to five-straight appearances in the Football Championship Subdivision and winning three-straight Gateway Football Conference Championships. Kill was awarded the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award (2004) as well as the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2007). Southern Illinois had endured nine-straight losing seasons when Kill arrived in 2001, attendance was at an all-time low, and decrepit McAndrew Stadium was beyond repair. The Salukis went 1-10 during Kill’s first year, but two years later were sitting atop the Gateway Conference with a 10-2 record and the school’s first playoff appearance in 20 years. Kill ushered in what is now known as the Golden Era of Saluki Football from 2003-09, in which Southern went 70-19 overall and 42-8 in the conference. SIU spent 99-consecutive weeks in the Top 25, including 18 weeks during 2004 and 2005.
Prior to being named head coach at Southern Illinois, Kill rose through the ranks at Pittsburg State, Saginaw Valley State, and Emporia State. His success at Southern Illinois, led him to Northern Illinois, where the Huskies won 23 games in three seasons and on to Minnesota in 2011. Kill guided the Gophers to three bowl games, including the 2014 Citrus Bowl, Minnesota’s first New Year’s day bowl game since 1962. He was voted the Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the conference’s coaches and the media who cover the Big Ten.
Kill stepped away from coaching for a short time in 2016 when he took on the role of serving as the associate athletic director for administration at Kansas State. In 2017, Kill returned to the sidelines as Rutgers offensive coordinator.
Kill has over 30 years of coaching experience and has done a masterful job of rebuilding programs into winners. He has a lifetime record of 156-102, was a four-time regional coach of the year, and recorded winning seasons in 15 of his 22 years as a college head coach. Kill was also instrumental in getting facilities built at each of the programs where he served, including SIU’s Saluki Stadium, which opened in 2010, three years after he left.
Kill has dealt with epilepsy for much of his adult life, serving as an advocate for others with the condition and earning widespread respect and national attention. He chronicled his experiences as a coach in a 2016 book, “Chasing Dreams: Living My Life One Yard at a Time.”
In addition to his many coaching awards, Kill has a long list of civic honors, stemming from his public advocacy for worthy causes, such as the Coach Kill Cancer Fund that he started in Southern Illinois while coaching at SIU, and the Epilepsy Chasing Dreams Fund he began while at Minnesota. He has been the recipient of the National Football Foundation Courage Award (2009), Grant Taft FCA Coach of the Year Award (2010), Cal Stoll Courage Award (2014), Bob McNamara Memorial Legends Award (2015) and the FCA Power of Influence Award (2016). He continues to help raise money for research for the National Foundation of Epilepsy and was the inaugural recipient of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota’s Coach Kill Award in 2016