“I had no idea I missed the Michigan game”. I ain’t done anything else. Interim head coach/defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys has been with Kill for 21 years, and is highly regarded himself. He also had game-day seizures in 2001 and 2005 as the coach at Southern Illinois, which led doctors to discover he had kidney cancer.
He’s applying for jobs and said he’s talked with Minnesota offensive line coach Matt Limegrover about joining the Gophers as a general assistant but would still have to talk more about it for consideration.
“There’s a lot of paper in that thing”, Kill said.
Goetz said Kill has demonstrated the “utmost courage”.
“That’s in the big man’s hands”, he said.
“Last night when I walked off the practice field…”
“I still want to coach”.
‘I don’t want to be a liability.
He has epilepsy, a neurological condition in which a person is prone to having seizures. My wife asked me how it went and the first thing that hit was, “I really enjoyed talking to Jerry Kill”. I (had) made my decision but I said, ‘Maybe not. I probably wasn’t supposed to go there, either.
In July, Kill said he had been seizure-free for the previous 18 months.
“I just sent him my regards and all that, thanked him for helping turn the program around and everything he’s done for me and my teammates”, he said.
The momentum crested past year when the Gophers went 8-5, including 5-3 in the Big Ten for their first winning record in conference play since 2003.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill retired Wednesday due to health concerns.
Claeys filled in for Kill during his seven-game leave of absence in 2013, leading the Gophers to a 4-3 record with wins against Northwestern, Nebraska, Penn State and Indiana. The last time the Gophers gained the Little Brown Jug trophy in consecutive years was 1962-63….
Kill also acknowledged that he hasn’t always taken his medication. You could tell how much he loved the game. They knew that game was going to be a dogfight, and be very physical as well.
Now, Kill said he’s following medical advice. “I did my best to change, but a few of those struggles have returned”.
The 4-3 Gophers will face Michigan on Saturday.
Minnesota governor Mark Dayton and members of Minnesota’s athletic staff all sent statements of support for Kill, as did the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota.
‘I hate losing and I feel like I’m losing today. I didn’t know his health had been bad. “It’s an empty feeling”.
The Cheney, Kansas native was hired by the University of Minnesota in 2011. And not only the wins and the bowl games, but what he has done for his players.
After the firing of Al Golden and retirement of George O’Leary on Sunday, there are now eight FBS head coaching jobs already open: Minnesota, USC, South Carolina, Miami, Maryland, Illinois, UCF and North Texas, with many more likely still to come open. That’s one of those comments you wish you could take back because Michigan comes to Minnesota with most of the same players from a year ago.
In August, Kill received a one-year contract extension through the 2019 season and a $300,000 raise. “I’ve never stole from anybody, and I’m not gonna steal now”.
But, likely, for the first time, many saw the vulnerability of a coach who had to step away for his own reasons, but not necessarily on his own terms.
He then referred to his Chasing Dreams fund and paused, nearly lost in thought of the kids he’s helped. The progress earned Kill the Big Ten’s coach of the year award.