Big Ten

Former Gophers coach Jerry Kill named associate AD at Kansas State


Former Gophers coach Jerry Kill named associate AD at Kansas State

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.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.