The Jerry Kill era at New Mexico State is over.
TThe school announced Saturday that Keel will step down and that wide receivers coach Tony Sanchez will be the team's next coach.
“This year has been very difficult for me, and I gave it everything I had physically, mentally and emotionally,” Keel said in a statement. “New Mexico State holds a special place in my heart because it marks the end of my journey as a head coach. While I will remain involved with the Aggies, I recognize the need for a head coach with a lot of energy. Best of luck to Coach Sanchez, the student-athletes and New Mexico State University.”
Kill has been New Mexico State's coach for the past two seasons as the program experienced two of its best seasons in years. The Aggies went 7-6 in 2022 and won the Quick Lane Bowl for just their second win in program history. This season, New Mexico State went 10-5, winning 10 games for the first time since 1960.
The Aggies lost the New Mexico Bowl 37-10 to Fresno State on December 16.
After that game, Kill unleashed a postgame statement about UNM's handling of its pregame preparations. New Mexico was reluctant to allow New Mexico State to use its indoor facility before the bowl game, Keel said Due to an incident that occurred earlier in the year When NMSU QB Diego Pavia allegedly urinated on the New Mexico logo at the facility.
New Mexico State was Kell's first head coaching job since stepping down at Minnesota midway through the 2015 season due to health reasons. Kell had multiple seizures on the sideline while in Minnesota.
Minnesota was 29-29 in Kill's four-plus seasons. He came to the Gophers after a successful stint at Northern Illinois. The Huskies went 11-3 in 2010 as Kill was hired as Minnesota's coach at the end of the regular season.
Prior to joining NMSU, Kill was an assistant at TCU and was the team's interim head coach for the final four games of the season following the departure of Gary Patterson.
Sanchez was an offensive assistant with Kill at TCU in 2021 and came to New Mexico State before the 2022 season. Before joining TCU, Sanchez was the head coach at UNLV from 2015-19 after spending six years as a high school football coach in Vegas Vegas. UNLV was 20-40 under Sanchez's tenure.
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