(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
DALLAS, Texas - NM State Head Coach Jerry Kill has instrumented one of the quickest turnarounds in all of college football and is now receiving recognition for his accomplishments with the Aggie program.
On Wednesday, Coach Kill was named the Conference USA Co-Coach of the Year while also earning AFCA Region 4 Coach of the Year honors.
The Conference USA Co-Coach of the Year honor is an award voted on by the league's nine head coaches and is shared with Liberty's Jamey Chadwell.
This marks the second time in his career that Kill has been awarded conference coach of the year honors after being named the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Additionally, this is the fifth time in his career that Kill has earned AFCA regional coach of the year having done so twice at the FCS level (2003, 2004) and three times at the FBS level (2013, 2014, 2023).
This season, the Cheney, Kan., has led the Aggies to the program's second ever 10-win season and the first since 1960. With Kill at the helm, the Aggies put together an eight-game win streak to mark their longest since in over 60 years.
This win streak was highlighted by a 31-10 win over Auburn that marked the program's first-ever win over an SEC institution. On Sunday, Dec. 3, the Aggies also accepted a bid to the Isleta New Mexico bowl making this year the first time that the Aggies have also earned back-to-back bowl bids for the first time since NM State appeared in consecutive years in 1959 and 1960.
Under Kill, NM State was a dominant force in Conference USA – finishing the year with a 7-1 record in league play to earn the Aggies' first-ever appearance in a conference championship game.
The Aggies' defense was a large contributor to their success this season as it was the top-ranked scoring defense among Conference USA teams and is currently ranked 33rd in the nation.
The Aggies' dominant defense has also been coupled with a rushing attack which currently averages 202.7 yards per game to rank 11th in the nation.
Since he arrived in December of 2021, fans have embraced Jerry Kill and this year he helped put a product on the field that the Aggie faithful can be proud of – winning five games at home to mark this highest home win total since the 2002 season when the Aggies were a perfect 5-0 at home.
The 2023 season also marks just the 11th time in program history that the Aggies have won five or more games in front of their home crowd while the active five-game home win streak marks just the seventh time in the school's history that NM State has won five consecutive home bouts.
With Kill at the helm, the Aggies have also been able to come out on top when facing their rivals. Against UTEP and UNM, Kill holds a 3-1 record, including going 2-0 this season.
This season, Kill's Aggies also defeated both the Lobos and Miners on the road to mark the first time to do so in the same season since 1923.
By defeating the Lobos this year, Kill is also a perfect 2-0 in the Rio Grande Rivalry to become the first Aggie coach to begin his Aggie tenure with two wins over the Lobos since Dewayne Walker accomplished this feat in 2009-10.
He also becomes just the fourth NM State head coach to ever do so – joining Walker, Robert "Cap" Brown (1923-24) and Arthur Badenoch (1912-13).
Kill has already cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the history of the NM State program as he already ranks 10th 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.
With his 17 wins at NM State. He is also among the best coaches in the nation – ranking 10th in wins among active FBS head coaches with 175 across 25 years as a head coach.
A staple of Jerry-Kill coached teams is improving as the season goes on and the Aggies have been no different. Under Coach Kill, the Aggies have put together a record of 12-2 during the months of October and November.
This includes posting perfect 7-0 record during these months this season.
This season has also further solidified Kill as being one of the best program rebuilders in the nation as he took what was labeled "the worst team in the nation" by some and turned them into a 10-win program in just two seasons.
This is not the first time Kill has done so, however, he is ahead of schedule at NM State as it typically takes three seasons for the turnaround to fully take form.
With Southern Illinois, he led the Salukis to a 10-2 record in year three after going 4-8 in year two.
He then led Northern Illinois to a 10-3 record in year three after going 7-6 in the second year with the program.
Prior to turning around the Aggie program, he also led Minnesota to an 8-5 record after posting a 6-7 record in year two with the Gophers.
This year, Coach Kill will look to lead the Aggies to their 11th win of the season when they take on Fresno State in the Isleta New Mexico Bowl.
If the Aggies were to defeat the Bulldogs, it would match the highest win total by an Aggie team in a single season.
The New Mexico Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16, in Albuquerque, N.M.