The athletic director at Southern Illinois and former Minnesota Gophers football coach Jerry Kill ripped current Gophers coach P.J. Fleck in a radio interview, saying Fleck is "about himself" and his "ego gets carried away."
In an interview on Sirius XM College Sports, Kill aired a long list of grievances about Fleck, who was an assistant under Kill at Northern Illinois for two seasons.
"He coached with me, but after that, you know, he changed a lot. I'll just be honest with you guys," Kill said.
Kill is the AD at Southern Illinois, a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference with North Dakota State. Kill was the head coach of the Salukis before getting the job at Northern Illinois. Kill was named Minnesota's coach in 2011 and coached the Gophers into 2015, when he resigned due to health reasons.
Kill's defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys took over and went 9-4 in 2016 before being fired. to pave the way for Fleck, who was a hot commodity after leading Western Michigan to a 13-1 record and a Cotton Bowl berth in 2016.
Kill seemed aggrieved that Fleck referenced a poor culture left behind by Kill and Claeys. The new coach, even after the Gophers won nine games in 2016, said he would refer to his first season at Year Zero because he was starting with so little.
“When he went into Minnesota and treated the people the way he treated my guys,” Kill said, “and telling them he had to go in and completely change the culture, and it was a bad culture and bad people. You know, he made it sound like we didn’t know what we were doing. And I took it personal.
“You just don’t treat people that have been with you and helped your career, and you don’t even talk to them once you get the job.”
You can listen to a snippet of the interview here, via the Sirius XM College Sports Twitter account:
Very strong comments from former @GopherFootball HC Jerry Kill about current HC P.J. Fleck when he joined Big Ten Today with @ESPN_Schick & @OfficialAJHawk.— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) February 19, 2019
You have to hear this!!
Fleck has not commented publicly, but retweeted a post by his wife that listed inspirational Mother Teresa quotes.
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered, forgive them anyway," the post begins, not mentioning Kill by name.
Heather Fleck is P.J.'s second wife. Kill made a reference to Fleck's first wife in his comments.