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


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


DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.