Saturday marked the end of the Doug Martin era at NMSU. After nine seasons, Martin coached his last game which was a 44-27 win over UMass at Aggie Memorial Stadium. As expected, it did not take long for Mario Moccia to find his replacement. NMSU's Director of Athletics targeted Jerry Kill, who spent the last four weeks as interim head coach of TCU. Now, he will be tasked to help resurrect the Aggies football program.

Kill's head coaching resume includes stops at Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Minnesota. All of them have something in common; their head coach transformed all three programs into winners. With the Salukis, he took over a program that went 1-10 during his first season in 2001. By his third year in Carbondale, he went 10-2. After seven seasons with Southern Illinois and five straight trips to the NCAA Division 1-AA/FCS playoffs, Kill was named head coach at Northern Illinois. He spent just three seasons with the Huskies, and he took them to three straight bowl games and a 10-3 record in 2010. Next came his biggest challenge at Minnesota and he led the Golden Gophers to a pair of 8-5 records and a second place tie in the Big Ten West division in 2014. He also won Big 10 Coach of the Year that season.

Since leaving Minnesota due to health issues, Kill returned to college coaching as the offensive coordinator at Rutgers in 2017 and later he became assistant to the head coach at Virginia Tech and TCU.

NMSU Athletics.
NMSU Athletics.
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The 60-year old could have the biggest challenge of his career as he attempts to get the NMSU football program back to relevance. The Aggies won the Arizona Bowl in 2017 when they defeated Utah State 26-20 to break a 57-year bowl drought. Since then, NMSU has gone just 8-30 (the team played only two games last season against FCS opponents due to COVID).

It will be interesting to see how many NMSU football players go into the Division 1 portal. It is also interesting to point out that Kill will only have to spend one more season as an independent in college football before NMSU transitions into C-USA in the summer of 2023. If Kill can continue to keep his past health issues under control, there is no reason to think that he cannot have the Aggies back in contention sooner rather than later.

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