’You hang around with turds, you’ll finish third:’ Coach Kill riffs on successful living at Richfield High School
Minnesota Gophers Head Football Coach Jerry Kill visited Richfield High School Wednesday evening of last week to explain his common sense, old-school approach to living a positive, successful life.
The talk was the first in what is to be a series of quarterly inspirational presentations hosted by the Richfield Spartan Foundation and the Richfield Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Richfield Bloomington Credit Union.
Kill arrived at the high school through a connection with the son of Richfield Athletic Director Todd Olson. The Trevor Olson played football for Kill at Northern Illinois University before the coach took the Gophers job last year.
Directing his advice primarily to the young people in the audience, which included starting Gophers Quarterback Marquis Grey and Trevor Olson, Kill dispensed wisdom like, "Surround yourself with good people. … My dad used to have the saying, ’You hang around with turds, you’ll finish third.’"
In his folksy style that goes with his Kansan twang, Kill urged the crowd to be positive, have faith – in God and their superiors – and simply enjoy life. In this vein, the coach gained perspective seven years ago.
"Cancer may have been the best thing that ever happened to me," declared Kill, who had been working a lot at the time, too much, but "2005, I had my life pretty well straightened out."
He said there was a 50-50 chance before his surgery "that I was gonna come out of that thing, or not come out of that thing so good."
But make no mistake; Kill still preaches hard work. "I really believe you can outwork people," he said. "I’ve believed that my whole life."