Rutgers tabs ex-Minnesota coach Jerry Kill as offensive coordinator

Rutgers tabs ex-Minnesota coach Jerry Kill as offensive coordinator

Jerry Kill could be just what Rutgers needs to invigorate what was a moribund Scarlet Knights offense in 2016.

Kill, 55, brings a wealth of knowledge to the staff of Chris Ash, who just finished his first season at Rutgers with a 2-10 record overall and a 1-9 Big Ten mark. The 2014 Big Ten coach of the year replaces Drew Mehringer, who at 29 years old never had been a coordinator until last year and then bolted to join the staff at Texas. Kill, who is Rutgers’ eighth offensive coordinator in the last eight years, has a mountain of know-how by contrast with 22 years of head coaching experience. He went 29-29 overall and 14-21 at Minnesota from 2011-15 before stepping down to tend to his health.

“I am excited to welcome Jerry and his family to Rutgers,” said Ash. “Jerry brings years of experience and tremendous leadership to our offense. He is a veteran Big Ten coach and a proven winner. Our players and coaches will benefit from his wealth of knowledge.”

Kill served as Associate Athletics Director for Administration at Kansas State since May. In that role, Kill was the chief administrator for the K-State football program. Now, he’s back on the field, looking to pump life into Rutgers’ anemic attack.

The 42-year-old Ash will benefit from having the sage Kill on the sideline to help improve a Scarlet Knights offense that is last in the Big Ten in scoring (15.7 ppg), last in total offense (283.2 ypg), 12th in rushing (144.9 ypg) and last in passing (264.2 ypg).

Rutgers had a similar OC in 2014-15, when former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen ran the offense for Kyle Flood. RU went to a bowl in 2014. Iowa State had former Kansas coach Mark Mangino on its staff in 2014-15. Former Raiders, Tennessee and USC head coach most recently was running the attack at Alabama before landing the Florida Atlantic job. Ex-Washington and USC coach Steve Sarkisian has taken Kiffin’s OC job at Bama. Maryland has former head coaches on staff, as ex-Virginia coach Mike London coaches the d-line and ex-Ball State and Elon coach Pete Lembo coaches special teams and tight ends. No doubt, having a former head coach on staff can be very beneficial.

Kill won’t have a lot of proven talent at his disposal, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Giovanni Rescigno emerged at quarterback late last season as a sophomore, hitting 52 percent of his passes for 889 yards with five TDs and five picks. Chris Laviano began the year as the starter as a junior. Jawuan Harris had a breakout year as a redshirt freshman wideout, leading the team with 39 catches for 481 yards. Sophomore left tackle Tariq Cole is a building block up front after earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the coaches, and junior running backs Robert Martin and Josh Hicks are back. Martin paced the team with 625 yards rushing.

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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