Jerry Kill's next job after abruptly retiring as the Minnesota head football coach in the middle of last season won't be with the Gophers.
Kansas State announced Tuesday morning that Kill — a native of Cheney, Kan. — will be the Wildcats' new associate athletics director for administration.
"Rebecca and I couldn’t be happier to return home to the state of Kansas and join the K-State athletics family and Manhattan community," Kill said in the school's announcement. "I want to make it known that my coaching days are over, and I am excited to start this next phase as an administrator for one of the finest athletics departments in the country. Mentoring has always been very important to me, and I am thrilled to work in support of Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder and the football program and learn more about the administrative side of college athletics under (athletics director) John (Currie) and the rest of the first-class staff at K-State."
As Kill mentioned in his statement there, he won't be returning to the field as a coach despite leading an impressive turnaround at Minnesota. Kill tearfully retired in the middle of last season, citing his ongoing battle with epilepsy as the reason he had to step down from his coaching duties with the Gophers. Surely, though, the speculation that he would perhaps be a "coach in waiting" is understandable, given that Snyder will turn 77 during the upcoming season and has worked Kansas State's head football coach for 25 of the last 28 seasons.
After engineering turnarounds at smaller programs at Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois, Kill came to Minnesota ahead of the 2011 season. In that first season, the Gophers won just three games, but they won six the next and eight in both 2013 and 2014, two of just 19 campaigns with at least eight victories in program history. Last season, Kill coached the first seven games before retiring, winning four. He handed the program over to longtime defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who went 2-4 in his six games, including a win in the Quick Lane Bowl, Minnesota's first bowl win since 2004.
Kill finished his tenure at Minnesota with a 29-29 record.
There was curiosity as to whether Kill would take a job within the Minnesota athletics department, but that obviously never came to fruition. Minnesota named a new athletics director last week in Mark Coyle.