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Sold on Jerry Kill

September 23, 2011 - Per Peterson
Jerry Kill’s first year as head coach of the Gophers won’t end with a bowl game. He might not even be able to squeeze three wins out of the 2011 season. But he has already done what a couple of his predecessors were unable to do: earn genuine credibility. Past failures like Jim Wacker and Tim Brewster were hyped up by the U of M and its boosters. They were sold to the public as good, solid, fiery coaches who relate well with the student-athletes. They also both PR’d themselves into the public’s good graces with gushing optimism that made even the most die-hard Gopher fans wish they lived in Wisconsin or Iowa. But, for the most part, it was all talk. Kill’s not like that. Kill tells it like it is. He gets upset and shows it. His face turns red. I love it when a coach’s face turns red. The redder the better. Kill has also landed a number of the state’s big-time high school prospects — like offensive linemen Isaac Hayes of St. Thomas Academy and Jonah Pirsig of Blue Earth, safety Nick Rallis of Edina, quarterback Mitch Leidner of Lakeville South and tight end Maxx Williams of Waconia — something else Jimmy and Timmy weren’t able to do all that well, so the future looks bright, and there’s evidence, real evidence, that it looks bright, not just by-golly talk about how great this team could someday be if they work hard enough. Coaches shouldn’t have to rave and rant about how dedicated they are to build a winner like past coaches have — that should be a given. I don’t care if the Gophers don’t make a bowl game this year. Don’t care if they win one game or nine. What I do care about is that future and how Kill takes his major recruits and turns this team into a conference powerhouse. Too strong? Maybe. How about contender. Yah, we’ll settle for contender.


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