CARBONDALE — Former SIU football coach Jerry Kill, the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Rutgers, announced his retirement on Tuesday because of health reasons in a statement.
Kill, a cancer survivor, has battled epilepsy for years.
"I hope that through my 34 years of coaching that I was able to be a positive influence on young people because that is truly why I coach," Kill said. "I want to thank all the players for what they have done for me. I appreciate and love all of the people that are part of my family. I don’t have any regrets and I’ve had a blessed career. I love this game and all the coaches that I’ve worked with. They have all made Jerry Kill a better man. I know that I did it the right way and I did it my way. I gave everything I had to the game, I just ran out of juice."
Kill resurrected SIU's program in the early 2000s, taking a 1-10 squad in 2001 to its first playoff berth in 20 years two years later. Kill went 55-32 between 2001-07, leading the Salukis to five straight FCS playoff appearances. His last squad reached the national semifinals. Kill's 55 wins rank second in school history, behind William McAndrew (83-79-20), and his winning percentage (63.2 percent) is the best in school history.
The Kansas native won the Gateway Conference Coach of the Year Award in 2003 and 2004 and was inducted into SIU's Hall of Fame in 2014.
After leaving SIU for Northern Illinois, Kill went to the University of Minnesota, and retired in the middle of the 2015 season because of health reasons. He worked at Kansas State as an administrator before returning to the sidelines with Rutgers coach Chris Ash this year.
"I would like to thank Jerry, Rebecca and their entire family for everything they did for our program, both on and off the field," Ash said in a statement. "Jerry had a great impact on our coaching staff and was a tremendous influence on all of our players. I wish Jerry and his wife the best and they will always be part of our Rutgers family."
SIU football coach Nick Hill played three seasons for Kill, and has four assistants with ties to him. Pat Poore, the tight ends/co-special teams coordinator, was a longtime assistant with him here and at Northern Illinois and Minnesota. Offensive line coach Trevor Olson played tackle for Kill at Northern Illinois, and safeties coach Marty Rodgers played for him at SIU.
Nate Griffin, SIU's running backs coach, worked as a grad assistant under Kill at Northern Illinois and was a quality control assistant on offense at Minnesota.
“Coach Kill taught me so much about the game and about life. He is the reason I am the head coach at SIU," Hill said. "He coached for the right reasons. I’m excited for coach Kill to enjoy retirement, and I can’t wait to get him on the lake and out-fish him."