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Gophers Football Coach Jerry Kill Talks Contract Extension

Updated: 02/26/2014 1:15 PM
Created: 02/24/2014 1:12 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert, Chris Long

Jerry Kill will remain the head coach of the University of Minnesota football team through the 2018-19 season. The school restructured his contract and announced Saturday his salary will nearly double this season. On Monday, Kill talked about his new contract and the team's 2014 schedule.

Kill made $1.2 million last season. The new deal bumps his total pay up to $2.1 million this coming season with increases of $100,000 each year through the end of the contract for an average annual salary of $2.3 million over five years.

When he spoke with University President Eric Kaler about the direction he wanted to take the program in the coming years, Kill said the president told him he "doesn't want to be in the middle of the road on anything."

"I think you'll see a lot of things happen here over the next year-and-a-half that will be beneficial, not only to our football program, but it will emphasize how important it is to our state to say 'hey, they've made a commitment' to the whole program," Kill said.

Describing himself as a simple man, Kill said though his salary has climbed, he is still the same person who earned $250 a month while living in a trailer house.

"I was very appreciative then," he said. "And if I had to go back to doing that, I'd be alright. I'm the same guy that I've been my whole life."

The contract contains a buyout which can be exercised by either Kill or the University. Should either side wish to terminate, the buyout is equal to the amount of the annual base salary ($600,000) per year remaining in the deal.

The balance of the salary beyond the base salary is $900,000 per year in supplemental compensation and $600,000 in supplemental retirement funding, which increases $100,000 each year.

Kill's salary had been the lowest among Big Ten football coaches by a wide margin. Even with the raise, Kill's annual pay remains in the lower tier among his conference colleagues.

The contract also stipulates the salary pool for the Gophers assistant coaches will be among the top six in the Big Ten.

Among the additional incentives included in the deal:

  • $150,000 for winning the National Championship
  • $150,000 for being invited to the National Championship 
  • $50,000 for winning 5 Big Ten games, with an additional $25,000 per each additional win
  • Bonuses ranging from $30,000 to $75,000 pegged to the team's Academic Progress Rate, graduation rate and Grade Point Average.
  • $50,000 if home game attendance hits 47,000 ($75,000 at 49,000 attendance)

The new contract also offers: use of two personal cars (up from one); an increase to 60 hours of non-commercial airplane leasing for recruiting or other university business; a suite at TCF Bank Stadium for home games and 20 tickets to any Gophers bowl game; and travel considerations for Kill's family to away games and for families of assistant coaches to one away game per season.

“Coach Kill is proving his model works here at the University of Minnesota,” said Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague in an e-mailed statement. “It is right to support him as he builds a program that will make the state of Minnesota proud.”

“Jerry Kill is the right coach for the University of Minnesota,” Kaler said in the same e-mailed statement. “He has clearly moved our program forward and I am pleased we have come to this agreement to secure his long-term leadership of Gopher football.”

Minnesota will hold the first of its 15 spring practices March 4, all of which are open to the public. The 2014 season will move the Gophers to the West Division of the Big Ten, and Minnesota will play cross-over games against Michigan and Ohio State.

Coach Jerry Kill Contract


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