Kill brings NIU coordinators to Minnesota

by John Hageman

Newly-hired Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill announced Friday that he will bring Northern Illinois defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys and offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover to perform the same duties under his new regime in Minnesota. Both have been with Kill for at least 12 years.

“I feel fortunate in this situation to get both coordinators on board,” Kill said. “They’ve been with me a long time. There’s a wealth of experience there. They understand what I want and what I expect. That gives us a good start to putting what we want together.”

Claeys has been Kill’s defensive coordinator since 1999 while at at Emporia State. He then followed him to Sourthern Illinois in 2001 and Northern Illinois in 2008. The Huskies led the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense this season and currently rank at No. 16 in the nation.

Limegrover became Kill’s as offensive line coach at Emporia State in 1999, and took over as offensive coordinator when Kill left for Southern Illinois and again at Northern Illinois. The Huskies currently have the nation’s seventh-best rushing attack at 264.8 yards per game, and ran for 297 yards against the Gophers in a 34-23 victory on Sept. 25.

Both coaches began their duties on Friday, and will not be part of the Huskies’ Dec. 18 Humanitarian Bowl matchup with Fresno State.

There’s no word on who, if anyone, will be retained from the Gophers current staff that led the team to two upset wins to close out the season after Tim Brewster’s termination. Kill interviewed the assistant coaches on Tuesday.