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Sources: New Mexico State expected to make coaching change

Jerry Kill expected to make his full-time return to head coaching after a 7-year absence, sources say.

Doug Martin is not expected to return as New Mexico State's head coach and Jerry Kill is the school's top target to replace him, sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday.

New Mexico State's athletics department is led by Mario Moccia, who previously served as Southern Illinois' AD while Kill was the head coach.

Kill would be expected to bring Tim Beck, the former Pittsburg State head coach and a current TCU offensive analyst, along as his offensive coordinator. 

Kill has not been a full-time head coach since 2015, when epileptic seizures rendered him unable to continue. He has remained connected to the game ever since, taking an associate AD role at Kansas State in 2016, then serving as Rutgers' offensive coordinator for part of the 2017 season before epileptic seizures forced him to step away from that job. He was a special assistant to the head coach at Virginia Tech in 2019, then took the same job for his good friend Gary Patterson at 2020. He has served as TCU's interim head coach ever since Patterson stepped down as the Frogs' head coach earlier this month.

TCU plays its regular season finale Friday at Iowa State; a win would make the Horned Frogs bowl eligible. 

Kill's head coaching career dates back nearly 30 years, when he took over at Saginaw Valley State. His career eventually took him from Division II to the Big Ten, with stops at Emporia State, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois before landing at Minnesota in 2011. His career record sits at 152-99 with 15 winning seasons. Career highlights include: five consecutive FCS playoff appearances at Southern Illinois, including a trip to the FCS semifinals in 2007; a MAC West championship at Northern Illinois in 2010; and three straight bowl appearances at Minnesota. 

Beck won accolades for his years as offensive coordinator at Pitt State, and then won the 2011 national championship as head coach. Beck and Kill have been friends and colleagues for over 30 years.

Doug Martin is still employed as the Aggies' head coach as of this writing. Martin has been NMSU's head coach since 2013, going 24-74. He led the Aggies to a 7-6 season and an Arizona Bowl victory in 2017 -- a titanic accomplishment, considering the circumstances -- but has won three or fewer games in each of his seven remaining seasons, including a 1-10 mark so far this fall.

New Mexico State has lacked identity and direction ever since it was booted by the Sun Belt following the 2017 season, but the program will embark on a new era when it joins Conference USA in 2023.

New Mexico State concludes its season Saturday against UMass. 

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

Afternoon update> Asked about this news today, Jerry Kill acknowledged his relationship with NMSU AD Mario Moccia and said he has no plans to retire after this stint at TCU is over; but "right now I need to concentrate on what I'm doing (at TCU). I've said all along that I was committed to my job I'm just focused on where I need to be right now." 

Kill and the Horned Frogs take on Iowa State Friday in their regular season finale.