Turner Gill

December 13, 2009 by  

Turner Gill:Turner Gill,47, is the head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks college football team and is one of nine current African-American head coaches in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

Gill bypassed the NFL and instead signed a lucrative contract with the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Concordes. In two seasons with the Concordes, Gill had 727 pass attempts with 411 completions for 4,928 yards and 23 touchdowns to 24 interceptions. He also had 826 rushing yards on 173 carries and seven touchdowns. However, during the last game of the 1985 season, he suffered another bad concussion and was advised by doctors to retire from pro football. He was only 23 years old.

Turner decided to return to baseball. A standout shortstop, Gill had been drafted by the Chicago White Sox at age 17 and again by the New York Yankees at age 21. In college, he batted .284 in 48 games for Nebraska during the 1983 season. Gill spent two years in the Cleveland Indians’ organization and a third in the Detroit Tigers farm system before deciding to return to football as a coach.

Gill interviewed for the head coaching position at Auburn University, losing out to Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik, who had a 5-19 record. On 15th December 2008, former NBA superstar and Auburn player Charles Barkley, who had previously endorsed Gill for the position, criticized Auburn’s passing over of Gill in favor of Chizik, saying “race was the No. 1 factor. You can say it’s not about race, but you can’t compare the two résumés and say deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst résumé.”

The following day, Buffalo announced that Gill had agreed to a contract extension and a raise. Gill’s contract now runs through 2013 and makes him one of the highest-paid coaches in the MAC.

According to the sources Kansas has reportedly named Turner Gill their head coach, where his daughter is a sophomore cheerleader. Gill went 20-30 in his 4 years at the University at Buffalo. My gut reaction is that this is a step down from Jim Harbaugh. Then again, Harbaugh is only 17-19 at Stanford. No wonder neither of these guys were locks to be the next Notre Dame coach.

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