Jerry Kill Hired As Special Assistant To The Head Coach

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Justin Fuente has hired former Big Ten Coach of the Year Jerry Kill as Special Assistant to the Head Coach, according to a press release from Virginia Tech.  Kill, the former head coach at Minnesota, had a career head coaching record of 152-99 before recurring seizures ended his head coaching career.

“Jerry Kill will serve as a tremendous resource for our football program,” Fuente said. “Coach Kill possesses over three decades of expertise and will be great addition to our staff. In addition to over 20 years of experience as collegiate and high school head coach, he’s served as a coordinator on both sides of the ball. He can dissect the game from virtually every angle and will be able to provide his unique perspective on everything from recruiting, to personnel and facilities.  
“After Coach Kill spent some time with our staff during preseason camp, it was apparent that he possesses a passion for being involved with a football program on a daily basis,” Fuente continued. “I have all the respect in the world for Coach Kill. I’m excited that he’ll be an integral part of our program at Virginia Tech and can’t wait for him to get on campus.”

Kill has been a head coach at four different programs, most recently at Minnesota.  Before that, he was head coach at Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Emporia State and Saginaw Valley State.  Before becoming a head coach for the first time in 1994, he had stints as defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator at Pittsburg State.  He was most recently the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Rutgers in 2017, and then athletics director at Southern Illinois in 2018.  Kill was Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2014 when he led Minnesota to the Citrus Bowl.

“While it was a difficult decision to leave so many wonderful friends and colleagues at Southern Illinois, I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Coach Fuente and his staff at Virginia Tech,” Kill said. “I’ve long appreciated and admired Justin as a coach and teacher of the game. I respect his penchant for identifying talent and helping young men reach their potential. He has assembled a fabulous coaching staff and roster of talented players at Virginia Tech. I can’t wait to help the Hokies in any way I can.”

Kill is close friends with TCU head coach Gary Patterson, for whom Justin Fuente coached from 2007 through 2011.  We’ll have more about this hiring in a TSL Pass article this afternoon.

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39 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Excellent addition!!!

    Saban seemed to invent the “special assistant/analyst” from previously fired or disgraced HC’s.

    Kill is a steal at $175K and is off the field due to heath issues not performance or scandal.
    Like the TCU connection.


  2. Not sure I understand the role of this position I thought all Assistants were special. Does Fuente need to hire an extra “set eyes” to tell him what is going on. Don’t his existing Assistants keep him informed.

    1. Alabama has included “coaching advisors” in their program for years. I think it’s a great move and a chance to get more great minds involved. Any coaching staff would love more coaches, especially coaches with the experience of Kill.

  3. This hire is to help get the run game going, he will sit next to Corny in the booth and assist. This is very much needed and a great hire.

    1. Also, can help out w/ the CEO responsibilities of the HC so that Fuente can be move involved in the offensive playcalling.

  4. Personally I am ready to hear more about why we’re hiring Kill, and what his REAL role is going to be.
    If he’s here to prop up CJF, I doubt that is going to work. If he’s here as a possible Bud replacement, I get it.
    If he’s “just” going to be an assistant as laid out so far, not sure I get it.

    1. Jerry Kill will not be the next DC or fill any other on field coaching position, due to health issues. He retired from coaching due to repeated seizures caused by epilepsy. With his knowledge and experience he can do lots of things to help the team. Let’s hope his hiring has a positive effect.

  5. Proud to have Coach Kill as a Hokie. He coaches a very physical and mental style that this group sadly lacks. He can fix this embarrassing running game if they let him.

  6. Interesting hire. As I see it this can only help. Sent email to Whit this morning regarding several Lane Stadium situations. Put a P.S. on there that I wouldn’t even go into the football mess but I was praying for the coaches and players. I think he has gotten the message from lots of other Hokies.

  7. YAY – someone to whisper in the whisperers ear. OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGEABLE OPINIONS will only help what we got going on. They picked a great time to announce this given the outrage in Hokie fandom over our lack of “progress” or whatever you want to call it…we could easily be 3-0, but if we were and had beaten BC by 3 and had 4 TO’s maybe we dont get CJK as an analyst now.

    I’ll take CJK now and 2-1. What he did at Minnesota was awesome!


  8. Hmmm. Wonder if Fu can delegate some stuff now to JKill and do more hands on Xs and Os work with offense!? 🤔 me thinks so and hopes so

  9. Could it be that, in part, that Coach Kill can provide cover for Fu when he has to cut some people loose? Corny, for example.

    He could be invaluable as a mentor to Fu- remember that Fu is only ~41 years old. While I like Fu personally, he does have some growing to do.

    I like this hire.

  10. Having another set of quality eyes on this program, especially right now, has nothing but positive connotations for the Hokies. It shows CJF knows the tenuous position we are in currently. I really hate this term, but we are near a “tipping point” in football with the outcome (positive or negative) still pending. Continuing doing the same things hoping for different outcomes defines futility. This hire bucks that trend. Great timing for looking ahead, not behind!

  11. And VT joins the “let’s hire a former coach as an analyst” arms race.

    Not that I’m saying Kill can’t/won’t be of some value. Heck, he could be a key. But it’s just another way to spend money on the football program. Keeping up with the Jones’….or in this case, Saban’s or Dabo’s.

    1. yeah I hear ya- from what i know a real quality guy to have around- but on a macro level just another example of ridiculous money spent on football. Jeez- you think if football squads, budgets, scholarships, coaching staffs, salaries, facilities outlays were all cut 25% + nationally across the board by a magic wand – that any of us would as fans feel cheated?

      1. Exactly. If college football could somehow come up with a spending cap, imaging how much money COULD be plowed back into other sports and/or the actual mission of a University – Education.

        It’s my windmill to tilt at.

  12. For the record, I don’t know anything about Kill other than recalling his success at Minnesota (muther trucking Minnesota!), but I really like this move.

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