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Aggie coach, players killin’ it


On the eve of just the sixth bowl game in program history, New Mexico State head football coach Jerry Kill has come under a national spotlight for managing the Aggie program’s turnaround and leading the team to its first 10-win season since 1960, a run that included its first victory in the Southeastern Conference with a 31-10 rout against the Auburn (Ala.) Tigers last month.

On Saturday, the Aggies will play against Fresno State at the Isleta New Mexico Bowl, for its second consecutive bowl game match.

Kill, who joined NMSU in December 2021, was named Conference USA Co-Coach of the Year and the AFCA Region 4 Coach of the Year last week.
“Kill has already cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the history of the NM State program,” NMSU declared in a news release, “as he already ranks tenth all-time in wins by an Aggie coach (17) and seventh all-time in win percentage among Aggie coaches (.606) who were in Las Cruces for more than one season.”

Kill’s performance raised speculation in recent weeks that recruiters were coming to call as NMSU and Kill entered talks for a contract extension, but details of a new deal remain under wraps. Kill is already under contract with the Aggies through 2027, with a $600,000 salary increasing to $650,000 in the last three contract years, plus incentives.

At a press conference Dec. 4, NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia said it will likely take “outside money” to fill the financial gap for Kill, but was confident it could happen.

“I know there’s a limit here in what people can do,” Kill said. “What we’ve done here is unusual. (Coming to financial terms) was a deal we worked together the first time, and I’m sure were going to work together the second time. I leave it to Mario and the administration.”

Kill is hopeful for the future and his young team – “We have eight seniors, and only five of those are playing,” he said.

He’s also realistic about college football’s new world order, which includes the transfer portal and money from Name, Imaging and Licensing (NIL).

“Football teams are going to change year to year because of the portal, so it’s hard to sustain,” Kill said. “NIL rolls in and I’m over there battling that. All those things you gotta work year round.

“But we’ve got good kids. They want to win and they bust their butt. I love ‘em and I enjoy coaching ‘em. They’re excited about going to the bowl game.”