Former Gophers coach Jerry Kill steps down at New Mexico State

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State football coach Jerry Kill is stepping down after two successful seasons and will be replaced by receivers coach Tony Sanchez.

Kill, who had health issues as the Gophers football coach from 2011-15, announced his decision on Saturday.

“This year has been tremendously difficult for me and I gave it everything I had physically, mentally and emotionally,” Kill said in a statement. “New Mexico State holds a special place in my heart as it marks the end of my journey as a head coach. While I’ll remain involved with the Aggies, I recognize the need for a head coach with a lot of energy. Good luck to Coach Sanchez, the student-athletes and New Mexico State University.”

Kill led New Mexico State to consecutive bowl games for the first time in 60 years and had the second-highest two-season win total in program history by going 17-11. The Aggies won 10 games this season for the first time since 1960 before losing to Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.

New Mexico State was Kill’s first head coaching job since he stepped down at Minnesota in 2015 after having multiple seizures on the sideline. He also served as TCU’s interim head coach for the final four games of the 2021 season after Gary Patterson’s departure.

Kill was 29-29 overall and 14-21 in the Big Ten at Minnesota, leading the Gophers to bowl games after 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. He resigned seven games into the 2015 season amid worsening health problems, with the Gophers holding a 4-3 record.

After leaving Minnesota, Kill served as athletic director at Southern Illinois and as a special assistant coach at Virginia Tech and TCU.

A former New Mexico State player, Sanchez joined Kill’s staff in 2022. He was UNLV’s head coach from 2015-19, going 20-40.

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