Kill speaks after signing new deal

There are clauses in the new contract that address Jerry Kill’s health issues.

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill expresses his discontent with a review of a Gophers touchdown against Wisconsin on Oct. 20, 2012.

Amanda Snyder

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill expresses his discontent with a review of a Gophers touchdown against Wisconsin on Oct. 20, 2012.

by Dane Mizutani

Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill said his brother called him after he and the University of Minnesota agreed to a new contract.

“You ain’t worth that,” his brother said.

Still, after adding a year to the head coach’s old contract and bumping his salary to $2.1 million for the 2014-15 season, it appears the University of Minnesota administration thinks Kill is worth it.

Kill spoke to the media Monday afternoon for the first time since signing his new deal.

University athletics director Norwood Teague also spoke to reporters via telephone.

Teague, who said the contract negotiations started a while ago, was very vocal in his support for the new deal.

“It shows our commitment to football and shows our commitment to Jerry [Kill],” he said. “It was the right thing to do at this time.”

There are noticeable additions to the new contract, which now lasts through the 2018-19 season. One clause allows an automatic termination, and another allows for potential post-coaching employment.

The University can terminate the new contract if Kill’s medical condition forces him away from the job for 90 continuous calendar days.

If the head coach can’t perform one or more key job duties for 45 continuous calendar days during the season or 70 continuous calendar days during the offseason, the University can suspend payment of his contract.

Kill took a leave of absence in October to manage his epilepsy after two separate game-day seizures. He later returned to coaching, but he said he delegated responsibilities more than before.

“I feel really good about this [contract] and what it addresses and how we addressed it,” Teague said. “I think we addressed the things we needed to address, and we can move forward.”

Under the new contract, Kill and the University can agree to transition him out of his head coaching duties and into a different position within the University at any time. He’ll earn $200,000 annually in that new position.

“I think that I’ve been treated fairly,” Kill said. “I said I’d never cheat the University, and I won’t. And I don’t think I have, because I’ve worked my tail end off to get us where we need to be.”

If Kill stays in his current position for the duration of his contract, his annual salary will increase by $100,000 per season for the next four seasons. There are also many opportunities to earn bonuses for his players’ performances on the field and in the classroom.

But Kill said the bigger reward is the University’s belief in his vision for the program’s future.

“I’m the same guy that lived in a trailer house for five years making $250 a month, and I was very appreciative then,” Kill said. “If I had to go back to doing that, I’d be OK. I’m the same guy I’ve been my whole life.”

Miller headed to Florida State

Kill confirmed Monday that linebackers coach Bill Miller will leave the program and accept the same position at reigning BCS national champion Florida State.

“I’ve always said when a person has an opportunity to do what’s best for him and his family, then I’m OK with that,” Kill said. “And at this point in time in his career, that’s what is best for him and his family.”

Kill wouldn’t specify whether the team would promote from within or hire from outside the program to fill the void.