Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill Won't Coach vs. Michigan After Having Seizure
Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure on Saturday morning and decided not to coach his team against the Michigan Wolverines for Week 6.
Kill has since announced he'll take time away from the team to focus on treatment.
From Pioneer Press reporter Marcus R. Fuller:
Kill is not ready to return to his full-time duties as head coach, but he said he plans to coach from the booth when the Gophers (6-2) play Indiana (3-5) on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
Claeys, his defensive coordinator and longtime assistant, is still in charge on the sideline. But Kill made it clear: "I've been around a lot more than you think."
From Joe Christensen of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Jerry Kill is here at the Northwestern game, but not in a coaching role. Waiting for more details.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) October 19, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 10
Jerry Kill has announced that he will take time to focus on his treatment. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will continue to coach the team in his absence:
My wife Rebecca, myself and our two daughters want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns during the last few weeks. This was a difficult decision to make, but the right decision. Our staff has been together a long time and I have full confidence in Coach Claeys and them during my time away. Every decision that will be made will be in the best interest of the players and the program. I look forward to returning to the Minnesota sideline on a full-time basis soon.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 8
From Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press:
Teague also told Wash Post: "There has to be concern about the perception that’s out there because of what (Kill's) dealing with right now."— Marcus R. Fuller (@GophersNow) October 8, 2013
The Associated Press (via ESPN) talked to Minnesota president Eric Kaler, who also backed Kill:
University President Eric Kaler reiterated the widespread support at the school for Kill and his ability to handle the high-profile, high-pressure job while dealing with epilepsy. Kaler said in a phone interview on Tuesday with The Associated Press that the university is not "looking at a Plan B."
The University of Minnesota Athletics Department released a statement concerning the incident:
Coach Kill was not feeling well on Friday morning and decided to meet the team in Ann Arbor on Saturday. He then suffered a seizure on Saturday morning and will remain at home in Minnesota for today’s game.
Coach Kill has been in contact with his staff today and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will serve as Minnesota’s acting head coach from the press box.
According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, this is the head coach’s fifth seizure-related incident since taking over in his current position back in 2011. The Associated Press (via ESPN) noted that Kill suffers from epilepsy, a common neurological condition that is characterized by seizures.
Kill has reportedly had issues with seizures for much of his coaching career, first beginning back in 2000 when he was with the Emporia State Hornets.
The 52-year-old was carted off the field after suffering a seizure during the Golden Gophers’ Sept. 14 contest against Western Illinois. Despite the head coach’s absence, the team would go on to win 29-12.
Minnesota is 4-1 on the season and going into its first matchup with a ranked team on Saturday. Michigan (19) poses a tough challenge to the Golden Gophers, especially with head coach Kill unavailable to guide the team.
Acting head coach and defensive coordinator Claeys was quoted last month as saying (via AP), "Everybody tries to spin it, that it's going to have an effect. I'm telling you: We know how to coach football, OK? The kids know how to play. They're trained very well."
He continued, "If it happens again, we'll handle it the same way. I have confidence in that."
The Golden Gophers take the field against the Wolverines at 3:30 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on ABC and ESPN2.
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