Auburn Doesn’t Deserve Turner Gill

This post will in no way take some cheap shots at Auburn’s new head football coach Gene Chizik, which has been called the “best fit” for its program. A 5-19 record at Iowa St. while riding a 10-game losing streak to the end of this season speaks for itself.turner_gill

No, in this post I will do my best to commend Turner Gill, head football coach at Buffalo, on his impressive season and career. If Auburn couldn’t see a rising star in Gill, they must have been looking at the dirt instead of the sky. The ethnicity of Mr. Gill is the only possible factor that kept him from becoming the head coach of Auburn’s football team. I guess Auburn just doesn’t want to win in the near future.

As the starting quarterback at Nebraska from ’81-’83, Gill led the Cornhuskers to a No. 2 and No. 3 national ranking. Gill is the 12th winningest quarterback in Div. 1-A history, boasting a 28-2 record as a starter while going 20-0 in Big Eight Conference play. He was a Heisman finalist in 1983 and was named to the All-Decade Big Eight (1980-1989) team.

Gill began his coaching career in 1989 at his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach. After spending a season each at the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University, he returned to Nebraska as quarterbacks coach from 1992-2003. Eric Crouch won the Heisman Trophy under Gill in 2001. The Cornhuskers won 3 national championships while Gill was an assistant coach there.

The Green Bay Packers hired Gill as Director of Player Development in 2005, and also served as assistant wide receivers coach and offensive assistant coach up until December of 2005. Gill then agreed to a five-year deal to be the head football coach at the University of Buffalo.


Gill only managed a 2-10 record in 2006, the first season the Bulls were under his coaching. However, Buffalo scored the most points in a season since they moved to Div. 1 with 220. Gill’s team also defeated a team with a winning record for the first time since joining the Mid-American Conference in 1999.


In 2007, the Bulls earned a record of 5-7 and Gill received MAC Coach of the Year honors. Buffalo went 5-3 in conference play, the first winning conference record since joining. Buffalo also boasted its first winning home record since moving to Div. 1. Nebraska was looking for a replacement head football coach following the season, and despite his successful season, Gill was overlooked for Bo Pelini.

This past season was a true breakout season for the Buffalo Bulls and Turner Gill. The Bulls finished the regular season with a record of 7-5, winning the East division of the MAC. On Dec. 12, Buffalo played #12 Ball St. in the MAC Championship game. With a 12-0 record entering the game, Ball St. was heavily favored, but Buffalo burst on to the national scene with a decisive 42-24 victory, giving the school its first MAC Championship in school history. Buffalo was offered to play in the International Bowl in Toronto, the program’s first bowl game since joining Div. 1.

With all the success Buffalo’s football program was having, stories swarmed about Gill moving to a bigger program. He was considered for head coach of Syracuse but was passed up for Doug Marrone, who has no head coaching experience. The same can be said for Auburn’s new head football coach Gene Chizik. Sorry, that’ll be the only cheap shot at Chizik.

Buffalo Gill FootballOn top of his football playing and coaching accolades, Gill is an upstanding member of his community. He has served as a Spokesperson for the United Way and as honorary chairman for Cystic Fibrosis, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. He is a also a board member of the Lincoln, Nebraska Children’s Museum.

Turner Gill may be one of the best young football coaches in the NCAA, if not any football league in general. He has been passed up on time and time again for a head coaching job at a bigger-name program, and resume has nothing to do with it. Is it his race? Yes, Charles Barley was right. It is sad to even think that a black man cannot get a good job even though he has honestly earned it. Shame on Auburn University. If they can’t see beyond the color of a man’s skin then they do not deserve Turner Gill.

I will have to root against him when his Bulls play UConn in the International Bowl this year, but that says nothing about the amount of respect I have for him as a coach and a man. Hats off to you, Mr. Gill. The University of Buffalo is truly lucky to have you.




1 Response to “Auburn Doesn’t Deserve Turner Gill”

  1. 1 Brian Gutierrez
    December 18, 2008 at 3:27 am

    interesting stuff man… good article, before reading this i didnt know about Turner Gill. keep it coming man its interesting stuff.

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