Jerry Kill Hired as Associate AD at K-State - Teleconference Quotes

K-State Athletics Director John Currie
Opening statement…
“Good morning everyone and we appreciate you taking the time out of a busy day to join us for a special announcement. As we released earlier this morning, we are very excited that Jerry and Rebecca Kill are coming home to Kansas and joining our administrative staff at Kansas State. As Coach Snyder always says, this is a place that is built around great, great people, and even though we’ve been able to build some nice buildings, the most important thing is the people that are in those buildings. We are delighted that Coach Kill will be a part of our administrative staff. His role will center around primarily supporting our football program. We see him as a great asset to our entire 165-member K-State Athletics staff in terms of mentoring staff members and young coaches and working with our student-athletes. We have been able to attract a high-level senior administrative staff here at K-State. That is the reason, along with our great coaches and student-athletes, that we’ve been able to have success over the last seven years. One of the things we’ve always tried to do is add skill sets that compliment other people’s skill sets and help build a more well-rounded staff. I believe having someone with the coaching and life experience as Jerry Kill in our senior staff meeting room will help make all of our administrators better when we are considering the impact of decisions on our sports and programs. I believe as well that it will be a good opportunity for Coach Kill and Rebecca as they begin the next phase of their professional life to learn more about the administrative side. Again, we are very happy to have Coach Kill committed, have the signature on the dotted line and have him join the K-State Family.”

On when Jerry Kill became a possibility for this position…
“I’ve followed Coach Kill for a long time and certainly respect what he’s accomplished. As he was transitioning out, we have some common friends and we were able to connect at one point. I was more curious to see what he envisioned as his next stop. As you look at the complexity of intercollegiate athletics and the different hats we all wear – and we feel like we have the best senior staff in America – but adding someone who has the experience on the field and in the locker room to that senior staff, I thought could be a great opportunity, and like all these things, it comes down to fit. A couple months ago (Deputy AD) Laird Veatch and I had a cup of coffee with Coach Kill and Rebecca and talked a little bit. We’ve talked a little bit more over the past month or so as just a process to get to know each other. We’re thrilled to have him coming on board and know he’s going to have a huge impact on our student-athletes, our coaching staffs and our entire university.”

On Jerry Kill’s duties…
“Coach Kill will primarily will be a resource for our football program and Coach Snyder. Obviously, that’s really critical to our success, and he’ll have other duties as they evolve. Part of the initial process for Coach Kill when he gets here is getting to know us and getting to know our people. I believe he can have a huge impact in that regard. Some of the other duties will go to some other folks.”

On Coach Snyder’s reaction when told Jerry Kill could be hired…
“The first part of the process was getting know Coach Kill a little bit and seeing if he potentially could have some interest if we had something that suited his desires here. Before we went any further, as we would do with any decision that affects football, I sat down with Coach Snyder in Phoenix at the Big 12 meetings. After he got out of his coaches’ meeting, I shared the news that I had a preliminary conversation with Coach Kill and wanted to know what he thought about it. Coach Snyder was excited about it. He was excited that I understood that it is really important to have someone that understands football serving in that capacity of supporting football and handling some administrative duties around football. He was very pleased, and he and Coach Kill talked on the phone the next morning for quite some time. Coach Snyder gave a thumbs up on it and we proceeded. As Coach Kill mentioned, they had a long conversation last week here in Manhattan that was very productive. I think Coach Snyder is excited about it, and (Associate Head Coach) Sean (Snyder) is excited about it as well. We believe it’s another step in the right direction in continuing to build a foundation of support for our football program.”

K-State Associate Athletics Director Jerry Kill
Opening statement…
“It’s a great privilege and honor to get the opportunity to come back home to Kansas State University. When you get an opportunity to work with John Currie, who has a tremendous national reputation and is one of the finest ADs in the country, and then you get to work with a guy that’s a Hall of Famer, I don’t know if it gets much better than that. Those three things are a pretty good deal. Rebecca and I are excited for the new journey in our lives as well as my kids – they were sprinting around this morning wanting to know where their purple shirts are, so they’re ready to roll. It’s an exciting time in our lives. I think it’s good timing; life is about timing. I’m just lucky that I got a call from John, and I’m very, very fortunate and very, very appreciative of all the people that have helped me – all the people in Minnesota and the places I’ve been before. I wouldn’t be getting this opportunity if it wasn’t for a lot of people.”

On head coaching interest after his days at Minnesota and his day-to-day operations at K-State…
“I need to clear this up real quick – I cannot ever be a head coach (again), that’s just the way my life is going to be. I’m very understanding of that. My next journey is this journey. My way to be a part of student-athletes and be a part of a football program is just this – mentoring people. This is what I’m able to do. I even checked it out with my doctor before I got this far. I have to life a little bit of a different life than what I did before and I’m OK with it.

“I’m just going to do what John asks me to do, and there are things beyond football. I think from the football part of it, my job is to keep Coach Snyder happy and help his job become easier in any role that is. We’ll work together with that. We have a good relationship as he’s told me that he’s old school and I’m old school. You’ve got two old school guys together, and with the good people that he has, the bottom line is our jobs are to work together to help K-State continue to get better. The bottom line is that Bill has done the best job of anyone in college football in what he’s done at K-State. It’s a privilege to be a part of it, and I’m just hoping that I can contribute and help out Coach. I wouldn’t not have taken this job if Coach (Snyder) hadn’t stamped off and said, ‘Hey Coach, I want you here.’ He did that, and to have a guy that’s a Hall of Famer say that, that’s good enough for me. I’m excited about working with Coach.”

On his health…
“When you’re in coaching, you never get a chance to, so to speak ‘get fixed,’ so I just kept going. That’s my fault; I don’t blame anyone else but myself. I’ve had the opportunity to do some things differently and it’s helped me out a lot. This is the best I’ve felt in 12 years. I’m actually sleeping well and dropped about 14 to 15 pounds. I’m on a special diet for seizure patients. I’m doing great, and believe me, I know when I wasn’t feeling great and when I have. I know my coaching career is over, and I understand that, but I just can’t sit around, look at a lake and roll my fingers. K-State’s administration, and certainly John, understands. I’m looking forward to working there and I’ll do just fine.”

On where he can create an influence at K-State…
“I think the big thing is, just like my new boss said, having the opportunity to be a part of the administration and to be able to still touch the lives of the players in all sports, not just football. That’s what I’m comfortable in doing. Being a part of a program that’s had so much success as Coach (Snyder) has had, being able to visit with him, walk in there every day and talk with him and see what I can do to help us become better, those are all the things (Minnesota Senior Associate AD) Dan O’Brien did for me. I learned a lot from Dan, and we’re kind of reversing roles a little bit. It’s exactly what I need to be doing in the second chapter of my life.”

On his relationship with Coach Snyder and if there is any coaching history between the two…
“I’m glad I haven’t coached against him because that would have been a loss. (Laughing) No, I haven’t coached against him. From a person that grew up in Kansas and seeing where Coach has taken the program, my opportunity came when I was at Emporia State many years ago and Larry Kramer was a part of that program for a long time. I befriended Larry when I got the job, and that’s who Coach worked under in Texas (Austin College). That was the connection. When I went to Southern Illinois, I called Coach up and asked him for some time, and he said, ‘You’re from Kansas, and you’ve done a good job. I’d love to have you come up here and visit.’ I was fortunate enough for him to take some time, and it wasn’t an hour of his time, he spent about six hours with me because I was going to Southern Illinois to try to turn that program around. That’s where we started a relationship, so that was probably 20 years ago.”