Skip to main content

Kill 'hopeful and positive' Claeys will become permanent Gophers coach

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Former Gophers coach Jerry Kill has been vocal on the media circuit since retiring as the University of Minnesota's football coach last week.

On Wednesday, Kill was reflecting on his career when he told an Illinois radio station that retiring from coaching college football was the toughest thing he has gone through since his father died in 1999.

But as well as speaking about his retirement to Saluki Radio, Kill also gave a ringing endorsement for his longtime defensive coordinator, Tracy Claeys, taking over the program on a permanent basis.

"I know coach Claeys is going to do a great job," Kill said Wednesday. "I'm very hopeful and positive that here in the next couple of weeks he'll be hired as the head coach permanently, and we'll see."

He told the station that ultimately it was a message from his late father that helped him make the decision to give up coaching at Minnesota midseason for health reasons.

In retiring, Kill has forfeited the $8.6 million remaining on his contract through 2019. Instead he will receive a buyout of about $800,000, according to the university.

"He always told me that no matter what you are getting paid, you give everything you've got and you don't cheat the person that is paying you," Kill said. "That stuck in my mind, and I think most people in the country think I'm an idiot to walk away from eight million dollars. But if you ain't around to spend that money, what difference does it make?"

Kill has a history at Southern Illinois. He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame last winter and the Star Tribune notes that he owns a home on a lake just outside of Carbondale, Illinois.

Since retiring, Kill has said he is feeling better. He told reporters that he had suffered multiple seizures this fall and had been suffering from a lack of sleep during the season.

Next Up

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

Arianna Vos

Victim of wrong-way driver crash ID'd as Hutchinson 19-year-old

Three women, ages 19, 20 and 20, were in the vehicle struck by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning.

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 24

Minnesota has now surpassed 12,600 COVID deaths.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Violent Offender Task Force in standoff with suspect in St. Cloud

Police announced the standoff at 10:14 a.m. Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 11.08.59 AM

Cause of fire that destroyed Waterville bar remains unknown

The fire destroyed the Funky Munky Bar and damaged several other properties.