Ex-Minnesota coach Jerry Kill rips firing of Tracy Claeys

0:54 | College Football
Report: Tracy Claeys fired as Minnesota football head coach
Thursday January 5th, 2017

Former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill criticized his former employer for firing football coach Tracy Claeys after suspending 10 players amid a sexual assault investigation.

Kill said he won't return to the university after Claeys was dismissed earlier this week, adding he was angry with athletic director Mark Coyle's statement that Claeys was fired because the program was in need of "integrity and class."

Claeys backed his players' threat to boycott the Holiday Bowl in response to the suspension of 10 of their teammates for their alleged involvement in a case in which a woman claims multiple players forced her to have sex with them. Claeys was fired on Tuesday after leading Minnesota to a 9–4 record and a win in the Holiday Bowl.

"I won't be stepping foot back in the stadium," Kill, who is now Rutgers' offensive coordinator, said on 1500 ESPN radio on Wednesday. "And I won't be stepping back into the university."

Kill was the Minnesota coach for five seasons and posted a 29–29 record. He retired as football coach in October 2015 of because of medical concerns.

"We gave our best to the state of Minnesota," Kill said. "We'll always come to Minnesota. My daughter is there. We love Minnesota. I'll go to every baseball game, (Vikings) football game, anything else. But I will not ever be in that stadium or that complex. And they're building a new complex. We had a lot to do with that. I won't ever see it. But I wish them all the luck in the world. I hope the decision that Mark made was right. I do hope the program continues to do well. I just wish people would be straightforward."

Minnesota is currently conducting a search for Claeys's replacement. According to reports, the school is focused on Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck, while other candidates include former LSU and Oklahoma State coach Les Miles and Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin.

- Scooby Axson

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