"The impact Coach Kill had on everyone is evident today seeing the support for his retirement," tweeted former linebacker Patrick Schiller, who was with Northern Illinois from 2007-2011 and is now playing for the Atlanta Falcons. "He taught me to be a man, went beyond football."Thus life goes on in the Mid-American Conference, where successful coaches often receive offers they can't turn down from more visible programs. Northern Illinois has managed to continue to field competitive teams, despite those teams making the coaches look so good that such offers come in.
While current Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey came to Northern Illinois in 2011, he praised Kill for not only helping him, but elevating the Huskie program that he eventually took over.
"There's no doubt Coach Kill helped set the stage for where we are as a program right now," Carey said. "Personally, he was always willing to help and spend time with me, talk with me as I started out as a head coach. He is just a genuine, genuine person who is stepping aside for all the right reasons. It's so hard because we're going to miss him."
And Mr Kill brought what the punditry characterizes as a "hard hat and lunch pail" approach to football, which apparently meant thinking about it all the time. But it also involved acting like a guy who started as a volunteer tackling-dummy holder rather than as Tsarevich.
Jerry Kill was more than a football coach. You'll read and hear endless stories about him today, about his kindness, about his on-field successes and how genuine of a guy he really is. Realize that hardly any college football coach gets this kind of treatment, especially on a national level.At the time Mr Kill left for Minnesota, I wished him well, and also that the Axe remain in Madison. Although he finished with an even record at Minnesota, the Axe is still in Madison.