For coaches and players on the Truman State football team, it was time for a change. Finishing the 2015 season with a 5-6 overall record and 4-4 in conference play, the coaching staff hired Jason Killday as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach. Killday joined the staff the week before spring break to replace previous offensive coordinator Jay Davis.
Head Coach Gregg Nesbitt says the hire was important to create a new energy and was necessary in response to the tough 2015 season. Nesbitt says finishing 5-6 is not what he had envisioned for the Bulldogs, and he says he thought the offense struggled throughout the season.
The Bulldog offense finished last in the GLVC in scoring and total offense, averaging 17.5 points and 285 yards per game. Nesbitt says overall, he wanted to find someone to help mend Truman’s offensive woes and improve many facets throughout the offense, and he says he thinks Killday is the answer the program was looking for.
Nesbitt says the coaching staff sifted through more than 120 applicants for the position, and he says he thought Killday was the best choice. Nesbitt says Killday was a successful coach during past seasons at Quincy University for six years and he says he believes this experience is what the program needs to help propel them to the next level.
“He’s got a track record of developing high-level quarterback play in this league,” Nesbitt says. “When you look at passing yards in general in college football, [Quincy University] has led or been at the top of the GLVC for two of the last three years in terms of passing offense.”
Killday helped coach Quincy senior quarterback Nick Lonergan to the top of the Quincy record books in many categories during his career. Lonergan finished his career at Quincy with the most passing yards, passes completed, touchdown passes and best completion percentage in program history.
Nesbitt says Killday also brings recruiting prowess to the program. He says Killday has strong connections to central Illinois, which is a current hot spot for recruiting. Nesbitt says Killday has done a great job developing relationships with high school coaches across the Midwest and recruiting talented players.
Killday says the tradition surrounding Truman football was a big factor in his decision to apply for the offensive coordinator position. He says the program’s winning legacy was appealing to him, and he says he thought he could contribute to the team’s success.
“I’ve been involved in a few different offensive systems — spread, empty, two-back, the run game and fast play — a lot of different styles,” Killday says. “I think I can bring a different plan of attack to this offensive system.”
Besides implementing a new style of offensive play, Killday says his overall goal as offensive coordinator is to win football games. He says finding ways to adapt to each game is important and will help the Bulldogs be successful. Killday says his mindset for offense is to be efficient, reduce turnovers, score points and find any way to help the team win.
Killday says his first order of business is to create a new identity among his players.
“We need to figure out who we are going to be and what we are going to do offensively,” Killday says. “We need to find which steadfast rules we are going to follow, what’s our identity, and how we are going to where we want to be.”
Killday says he is thankful for the opportunity and is looking forward to working with the program. He says any time someone goes to a new place, there is an opportunity to learn.
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