Jerry Kill and His Magic Formula For NMSU Football Program
Jerry Kill has never claimed to be David Copperfield. He cannot make the Statue of Liberty disappear and reappear. However, do not let the veteran college football coach fool you. He is the football version of the Harvey Keitel character Winston "The Wolf" Wolf from Pulp Fiction. When someone is in trouble, "The Wolf" fixes things as quickly as possible.
That reputation is the main reason why New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia reached out to Kill about a year ago regarding the Aggies head coaching position. The two go back many years and Moccia knew that in order to resurrect his football program from the dead, he would need a fix-it guy.
Things did not look particularly promising to start the season. The Aggies were winless in their first four games and their offense was pitiful. Then a strange thing happened. New Mexico State started to win and their quarterback situation became more stable under junior Diego Pavia. Suddenly the team that looked like they would be rebuilding finished with seven wins in their last nine games and their second Bowl victory in their last five years.
"Oh, we're going to continue to improve. There's no doubt about that," Coach Kill said after his team's 24-19 win in Detroit. "We'll continue to get better, but it's a whole different team next year, and a whole different – can they have the same type of culture? Can they have the same – what this team had? You just don't know, but I said it'd take three or four years to get where we want. That's the same thing I'll say right now. This has stepped way ahead, but at the same time, it's not way ahead either. There's a lot of chinks in the armor that have to be fixed, and we're going into Conference USA."
New Mexico State did not waste any time with recruiting their class for 2023. The program announced a total of 29 players, highlighted by former Texas A&M quarterback Eli Stowers, Arizona defensive tackle Dion Wilson Jr., and Arkansas cornerback Keuan Parker.
The NMSU football program has not been relevant in more than 50 years. Suddenly, Jerry Kill has Aggies fans believing that 2022 is just the appetizer and the main course and dessert are yet to come. Given his coaching resume prior to Las Cruces, there is no reason to doubt that the Aggies will be a major player when they arrive in Conference USA next year.