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The new Minnesota Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill talks with reporters during a news conference at TCF Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
The new Minnesota Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill talks with reporters during a news conference at TCF Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

Minnesota starts to sell fans on Coach Kill

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Joel Maturi didn't get the "Tubby Smith-type" hire that he promised for the Minnesota football team.

He settled on Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill instead, admitting that Kill wasn't his first choice when he began the search 51 days ago.

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Kill was ready for the question at his introductory news conference Monday. He says he wasn't his wife's first choice either, but promised to work as hard for the Golden Gophers as he did to convince his wife, Rebecca, to marry him more than two decades ago.

The line got plenty of laughs, but Kill knows he won't sell the many skeptics around the program on him until he gets the struggling program to start winning.

Kill replaces Tim Brewster, who was fired during the season after four unsuccessful years.

Coach Kill speaks at Gopher player meeting

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