Blog Entry

Liberty hires Turner Gill as head coach

Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:42 am

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Turner Gill, the Kansas head coach who was ousted in November after two seasons to make way for Charlie Weis, has found a new home as head coach. The FCS-level Liberty Flames announced late Wednesday night that Gill had been hired as the team's eighth head coach in its history. Liberty, which is located in Lynchburg, VA, is known every bit for its religious affiliation as it is for its athletics or other extracurricular activities, and that fact was evidently not lost on Gill or school administrators looking to make this latest hire.

"In our search for a new head football coach, almost every advisor recommended Turner Gill, said school chancellor and president Jerry Falwell Jr. in a statement released by the school. "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."

Liberty athletic director Jeff Barber shared Falwell's view of the school's new head coach.

"Liberty is tremendously blessed to welcome Turner Gill as our new head football coach," Barber said. "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 struggled mightily to get the Kansas program on track, losing his last 10 games in Lawrence against what the Sagarin ratings deemed college football's toughest schedule in 2011. The losing streak capped a 5-19 (1-16) record at KU, which was a far cry from the 20-30 (14-18) record he achieved at Buffalo prior to joining Kansas. Gill took Buffalo to its first (and only) bowl game in 2008, losing 38-20 to Connecticut in the International Bowl.

Gill will replace Danny Rocco, who racked up a 47-20 record over six years before taking a job with FCS powerhouse Richmond over this offseason. Rocco led the Flames to four consecutive Big South championships in his time atop the program, and he was named the Big South Coach of the Year in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Rocco is second in Liberty history for most wins behind only longtime head coach Sam Rutigliano, who went 67-53 in his 11 seasons with the program.

Liberty first founded a football team in 1973 and has been a member of I-AA/FCS football since 1988. The Flames, whose most notable NFL alumni include Pro Bowl tight ends Eric Green and Dwayne Carswell, joined the Big South Conference in 2002 and posted a 4-1 conference record there in 2011 en route to finishing 7-4 on the year. Liberty's Williams Stadium currently seats 19,200 and is in the process of expanding to 30,000 in the coming years.

The school has announced a press conference for Gill on Thursday afternoon. 


Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 12:31 pm

Liberty hires Turner Gill as head coach

Good luck to TG.  I am glad that he landed at Liberty after two years at Kansas, rather than after failed two years at Auburn had Charles Barkley had his way.  I'd also like to see if Charles approves of this Liberty hire, or if he feels like there was a better candidate available.

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:38 am

Liberty hires Turner Gill as head coach

   " will be a priviledge to work alongside him..." That's the kind of support TG will need if he's to fill Danny Rocco's shoes. His transition from KU to Liberty is akin to out of the meat grinder and into the frying pan.

   FCS football is First Class...and the Mid-Atlantic region is as good as it gets year in year out...and w/Liberty's recent  growing power, stadium expansion, local expectations, it's already game on.

    He best forget any latent resentment towards KU for how he was embarrassed and tossed out as all eyes are now upon him to rise to this challenge. I had hoped he would have stayed at Buffalo and not made the vast jump up to KU. All the KU job did was make him look like he got lucky at Buffalo.

   I truely like Turner Gill, the man. ...and from what I've read, he is a good coach and a great example for young men playing the game he excelled at and knows...

   Danny Rocco left  Liberty compet
eing w/ the regions best and poised for some playoff success...I'll be following Turner Gill and wishing him the very best at his new looks like a perfect fit.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:32 am

Good hire

Turner Gill deserved better than what he got in Kansas.  So did his predecessor.  And now Kansas has hired someone who consumes both food and programs at a prolific rate.  I would say that the Kansas administration is beginning to look like the fictitious office in the "Monkey Business" commercials from Career Builder, but it would be an insult to simians.  Chimps and monkeys could probably do a better job than those in the KU administration building are.  
Liberty is getting a good coach.  It might not be major college football, but they are getting a coach who actually fulfills the so-called "mission" or "purpose" of NCAA sports in the first place: developing young athletes into men who make their universities proud.  Congratulations to Liberty on a great hire and congratulations to Turner Gill for being "back in the saddle" so soon after nearly having his reputation tarnished by such a pathetic excuse for a BCS program.

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2011 8:57 am

Liberty hires Turner Gill as head coach

Good hire for them. He will be able to continue their sucsess. Wish it would have worked out at Kansas, but you sometimes have to fall, to learn to get back up. He will do fine there. Best of luck Turner. You know Husker nation is behind you.


Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2011 7:41 am

Liberty hires Turner Gill as head coach

Great hire for Liberty and I'm sorry things didn't work out for Gill at Kansas.  Hopefully he can replicate the same success at Liberty that he did at Buffalo.  I'm certain going down to the FCS level will bode very well for Gill.


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