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Turner Gill to take over Liberty job

Turner Gill AP

A little less than three weeks after getting axed after just two seasons at Kansas, Turner Gill is about to take a step down to get back up on the head-coaching horse.

Gill interviewed for the vacancy at Div. 1-AA (FCS) Liberty University Wednesday and, after being offered the job, accepted it late last night.  The Lynchburg News & Advance reports that Gill was the only candidate to actually visit the campus.

The school, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, confirmed Gill’s hiring in a press release, announcing a 1 p.m. ET press conference today to officially introduce their new coach.

“Liberty is tremendously blessed to welcome Turner Gill as our new head football coach,” athletic director Jeff Barber. “As we conducted this search during the past nine days, his name was recommended to us over and over from coaches and athletics directors from around the country as the right man to lead our football program. Turner embraces all that Liberty is and stands for and it will be a privilege to work alongside him as we continue to move our football program forward.”

Gill spent two seasons with the Jayhawks after seeing his coaching stock rise during a five-year stint at Buffalo of the MAC.  The 49-year-old Gill has a 25-49 career coaching mark, including a 5-19 record at KU.

It appears, though, the kind of person Gill is off the field was as important as just about anything he’s done on the football field.

“In our search for a new head football coach, almost every advisor recommended Turner Gill,” Liberty president and chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement. “Every indication is that he is a perfect fit for Liberty University. His experience is at the level where we would like to take our football program. His Christian faith is strong and sincere and what any new recruit would expect to see in a Liberty University head football coach. I think Liberty University and Turner Gill were made for each other.”

Gill will be charged with replacing the most successful head coach in the history of the Flames football program.  Danny Rocco, who left earlier this month for the head-coaching job at Richmond, was 47-20 in six years at the school, winning four Big South Conference titles to his credit.

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14 Responses to “Turner Gill to take over Liberty job”
  1. woebegong says: Dec 15, 2011 9:26 AM

    This probably a good move by T.G. and one he should have made before ever trying Div. 1 . Let him cut his teeth at a smaller school, and then he will be ready for the big times. Let Weiss have the headaches at Kansas for a couple of years and he will be gone as well. Most likely though, Weiss will leave on his own accord. I don’t think Gill, or a lot of other coaches would have succeeded at Kansas, because football is not the big game at that university.

  2. pastortodd78 says: Dec 15, 2011 9:39 AM

    Gill did cut his teeth at a small college. 20-10 record at Buffalo? Also Kansas has had recent success. Mangino had them in the Orangle Bowl. Yes The Kansas Jayhawks played in and won a BCS bowl game. So can the program do well? Yes, very well. Is it hard? Yes very hard, but not impossible.

  3. smartbutlazy says: Dec 15, 2011 9:53 AM

    I think his record is actually 25-49. Wasn’t he 20-30 at Buffalo? Either way, good luck.

  4. John Taylor says: Dec 15, 2011 9:59 AM

    Yep, 25-49. Typo on my part.

  5. redsteel16 says: Dec 15, 2011 9:59 AM

    Mangino might’ve had success at KU, but he also got more time than 2 years. No one can turn around KU in 2 years. Ku will have another coach in 2-3 years after weis fails. If you can’t have success at ND with the recruits they can pull you’re not going to do any better at KU. He should’ve stayed in the NFL

  6. harleyspoon says: Dec 15, 2011 10:02 AM

    Good luck to a good man!!

  7. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 15, 2011 10:50 AM

    harleyspoon: Dittos to what you posted. He will be a good fit for Liberty with strong character, family life, ethics, and a heart for the young men, though I have concerns how he can do much with the football program, but wish him the very best.

  8. bozosforall says: Dec 15, 2011 11:07 AM

    woebegong says:
    Dec 15, 2011 9:26 AM
    This probably a good move by T.G. and one he should have made before ever trying Div. 1 . Let him cut his teeth at a smaller school, and then he will be ready for the big times. Let Weiss have the headaches at Kansas for a couple of years and he will be gone as well. Most likely though, Weiss will leave on his own accord. I don’t think Gill, or a lot of other coaches would have succeeded at Kansas, because football is not the big game at that university.

    __
    Buffalo IS D-1 football. Granted, it’s the MAC, but still D-1.

  9. woebegong says: Dec 15, 2011 12:02 PM

    Got you on the U. Of Buffalo being division one. Perhaps I should have said, a smaller program, not in a bigger conference where the pressure to succeed is so high. Kansas is probably in the wrong league in football, but regionally, of course it makes sense.
    I have very little doubt that T.G. will not surface in a couple of years for another DIV. I school, as he seems to be a good X’s and O’s coach and a very well liked one. Coaches like that are too valuable to keep down, and he will not stay down long. I don’t know a lot about Liberty College but I am sure he will make them the best team possible.

  10. malee2 says: Dec 15, 2011 2:15 PM

    Liberty University… This isn’t a college, it’s a University

  11. rickd785 says: Dec 15, 2011 3:00 PM

    It’s a school for nuts like Tebow.Too bad abut Turner I for one have had it with ‘ jebusball ‘

  12. pandebailey says: Dec 15, 2011 4:58 PM

    Mangino had much less success at Kansas than most people think – he was 50-48 at KU and 23-41 in Big 12 games. He was just 8-17 in his first two years and 12-24 in his first three (yes, he started a lot like Gill but was given a LOT more time).

    Mangino had one great year in 2007 but had just three winning seasons out of eight. People think Gill inherited a good KU team – but they were 1-7 in the Big 12 in Mangino’s last year and lost their two best players to the draft. Gill inherited a scandal and very little talent.

    Cutting Turner Gill after just two years says a lot about KU’s new AD, as does bringing in Charlie Weis. Pretty sad turn of events for a great school.

  13. bigfoot3 says: Dec 15, 2011 5:13 PM

    This program is on the rise. I still think it is a better job than Richmond. hope he keeps the recruiting coordinator and WR coach (Charlie Skalaski). He’s strong recruiter in Florida ( grew up in Miami and played DB at Florida) and was a UF Grad Asst for Shanahan when he was OC at UF. His WR’s at Liberty were outstanding and one may be high draft choice

  14. rcali says: Dec 15, 2011 9:50 PM

    Wasn’t it just two years ago that people were falling over themselves about him not getting enough serious Division I job offers?

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