(STATS) - Former Southern Illinois football coach Jerry Kill says Nick Hill - introduced Wednesday at his alma mater as the Salukis' new head coach - will outwork coaches from other programs.
"I promise you Nick Hill will work day and night because he doesn't want to let anyone down," Kill said.
Southern Illinois promoted the 30-year-old Hill to the top spot after he served the last two seasons on coach Dale Lennon's staff, first as the quarterbacks coach and also as co-offensive coordinator this past season, when he helped mold Mark Iannotti into the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference's first-team quarterback.
Hill was named interim coach Dec. 1, one day after Lennon was dismissed following eight seasons, including this year's 3-8 campaign. He signed a three-year contract worth $175,000 annually, plus incentives.
"I know what the blueprint looks like for our program to be successful, going back to my playing days for Coach Kill, and I know we can get there," Hill said. "Coaching my alma mater is a dream come true. I love everything about this region and what it stands for, that blue-collar mentality. This is not my team. This is our team. Our program is going to invest in the community and make us proud on and off the field."
Hill was a two-year starter at quarterback for the Salukis and earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior in 2007, when he helped them reach the FCS national semifinals in a 12-2 season.
He was the head coach at Carbondale High School in 2013 and then moved across town to join the SIU staff in 2014.