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College Football: Kill named Big Ten Coach of Year

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the league's head coaches (Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year) and media (Dave McClain Coach of the Year).

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the league's head coaches (Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year) and media (Dave McClain Coach of the Year).

He is the second Gopher coach ever to win the award and first since Glen Mason, who was honored in 1999 as the Dave McClain Coach of the Year.

Kill, in his fourth year at Minnesota, led the Gophers to an 8-4 record and a 5-3 mark in the Big Ten. The Gophers, who were picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten West in a preseason media poll, were one game away from playing for a Big Ten championship.

Kill guided Minnesota to an 8-5 record in 2013, meaning the Gophers have won eight games in back-to-back seasons for only the fifth time since 1906.

Kill coached five players (one on offense, one on special teams, three on defense) who were named All-Big Ten first team by either the coaches or media, the most the Gophers have had since 2004.

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This season, Minnesota recorded Big Ten wins against Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue, Iowa and Nebraska. It's the first time Minnesota has beaten Michigan and Iowa during the same season since 1967.

The Gophers won at Michigan for only the 13th time in 53 games. Their 31 points were the most scored in a road win against the Wolverines since 1937. The 14 points allowed were the fewest since Minnesota shut out the Wolverines 16-0 in 1977.

The Gophers ended a two-game losing streak to Iowa. The 51 points were the most the Gophers scored against Iowa since 1949 when they won 55-7.

Kill led Minnesota to a 28-24 win at Nebraska, the Gophers' first victory in Lincoln since 1960. It was also the Gophers' second consecutive win against the Huskers.

Minnesota snapped a 16-game losing streak to Nebraska last season. This year, Minnesota rallied for its first win against a ranked opponent on the road since 2000.

Minnesota defeated Northwestern for the second time in two years and also won its second straight game against Purdue in 2014.

The Gophers suffered four losses this year to teams who have a combined 38-10 record (Ohio State 11-1, TCU 10-1, Wisconsin 10-2, Illinois is 6-6).

Minnesota played valiantly in defeat as it held TCU (No. 3 in scoring) to its lowest point total of the year and held Ohio State (No. 5 in scoring) to its second-lowest point this year. The Gophers also kept the Badgers (No. 16 in scoring) beneath their scoring average.

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Kill's Gophers are 9-5 in their last 14 Big Ten games.

The 9-5 mark is the best for Minnesota in a 14-game conference stretch since it went 10-4 from Nov. 11, 1972, to Oct. 19, 1974.

The Gophers will play in their third-straight bowl game this year under Kill. Minnesota has played in three straight bowl games only once before.

If Minnesota win its bowl game, it would be only the eighth time in history the Gophers would win nine games in a season and the only the second time in the last 109 years.

- GopherSports.com

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