Nearly a year since his hiring was announced at New Mexico State, head football coach Jerry Kill still has not signed an employment contract with the university, the school confirmed this week.
As of Friday, he hadn’t even signed the university’s initial offer letter dated Nov. 21, 2021 – a two-page document that spells out the basic financial terms of his job but also states that he is on probation for a year like other new employees there.
It’s an unusual situation. Kill, 61, is still coaching at one of the most difficult jobs in major college football. He also is still getting paid at a rate of $550,000 annually, an athletics department official said. But without a signed contract – or even a signed initial offer letter – Kill’s situation delves into a precarious realm that carries significant risk for both sides and sometimes has created awkward situations and headlines that have raised the eyebrows of fans. Once, it became a federal case at Kentucky after men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie went two years without signing his contact before being fired in 2009.
“This is a strange one,” said Martin Greenberg, an attorney and sports law professor at Marquette who has represented coaches in contract negotiations but is not involved in the Kill case.