Minnesota's Jerry Kill to Take Time Off for Epilepsy Treatment

By DJ Byrnes on October 10, 2013 at 4:39p
U can tell by the way he use his walk — he's a lady's man, no time to talk.

From Minnesota Sports' official site: 

Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague announced today that head football coach Jerry Kill is continuing to take time to focus on his treatment and better manage his Epilepsy.

As he has done in previous situations, defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will serve as the acting head coach when Kill is away. Claeys is in his 19th year as a member of Kill's staff.

Teague and Claeys will address the media at 3:15 p.m. Thursday in the postgame press conference room at TCF Bank Stadium.

From Jerry Kill:

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.

Gah. Jerry Kill may be the nicest guy in the Big Ten, so this absolutely sucks. Props to Minnesota for doing the right thing and sticking by their coach. Hopefully the treatments help and Jerry Kill can get back to a professional he obviously loves.


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CanadianBuckeye's picture

Gotta like the dude, just seems like one of the good guys.  Positive thoughts to him and his family.

Maestro's picture

Hope they can figure something out.  I think this is a wise move for his health.

vacuuming sucks

gumtape's picture

Seizures are a very difficult and frustrating thing to treat. Stress and anxiety make seizures more likely in an epilepsy patient. Additionally, most medications used to treat seizures are going to cause cognitive slowing and somnolence. I wonder if he was not as compliant in taking them because of his busy schedule.
I am glad he is taking some time off to figure things out.

High and tight boo boo

tennbuckeye19's picture

I had a feeling something like this would be happening. I really hope he can make progress with managing and treating his condition. I wonder though what the future will hold for him, if in fact, he cannot carry out his duties as a head coach. It seems like the stress from game days contribute to his seizures (or at least the ones we hear about). I don't want him to lose his job for health reasons, but at some point if he is unable to perform his work responsibilities that he is being paid a million plus to do, Minnesota and Kill will have some decisions to make.

Hovenaut's picture

Glad to hear he is being allowed to make a decision here, and that he has chosen to prioritize his health at this time. 

CowCat's picture

Good luck to him.  Scary stuff.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

brandonbauer87's picture

Ok, I'll be the one to say it. How long does Minnesota let this go on?  How can you convince kids to play for a school like Minnesota when the coach could realistically expire during one of these seizures? I don't mean to be disrespectful to Coach Kill. He seems to be decent coach. That program is just treading water though. They need to set up a nice retirement package and bring in a hot shot FCS coach. 

bigbadbuck's picture

Im hoping that the stress of being a head football coach isnt what is triggering these episodes and that Coach Kill can come back soon...Best Wishes coach.get well soon!

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

MN Buckeye's picture

This is a very difficult situation, and it is all over the news here in the Twin Cities. There are mixed reviews, just like we have here in this thread, but it seems like MN is going to let this play out for the season. The situation is unusual for a number of reasons, but the primary reason it has worked so far, even they have yet to record a B1G win this season, is that he has a large group of loyal assistants that have been with him for many years. We talk about how many of our assistants will be targets for head coaching jobs next year; well, MN certainly has continuity.
I think the best approach is the one they are currently taking. Kill is a good coach, he has good assistants, the kids he has recruited in now his third year are still quite young. MN was left completely trashed by former coach Tim Brewster, so this has been a huge rebuilding job for Kill.
I sincerely hope he can get his health in order to keep moving forward. If not, he will not have any other options than to resign.

harleymanjax's picture

I think he has coached his last game...........I think this leave of absence is a way for Minn to let him go without looking bad.

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

Oldschoolbuck's picture

My prayers are with Coach Kill. I hope that he can continue doing what he loves and make the Golden Gophers respectable.
I know several people that suffer from a similar condition - it can be difficult (as someone noted above, the meds have some deleterious side effects).
That being said, there was a leader on the world stage many years ago that did pretty well for himself while dealing with seizures/epilepsy... That leader, of course, was Philip of Macedon's son, better known as Alexander the Great.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Good luck to Coach Kill.  Got to take care of his health so that he is able to come back and ready to go again!  Best of luck!! We're pulling for ya Coach.

Doc's picture

God's speed coach. I'm rooting for ya!

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

elitesmithie's picture

Is there a way to retain him as an assistant or in the athletic department. He seems well liked and also knows his stuff.

JollyFatMan's picture

Good luck Coach. Let's hope he stays around in some capacity as I don't know a person who doesn't like the man.

How firm thy friendship..

Qujo's picture

I'm loving where the B1G coaches are. Kill has brought Minnesota back to a good challenge, Fitzgerald is raising the NW program, Hazzell will get Purdue solid, Dantonio keeps proving himself, Indiana is as good as it has been in a long, long time, Andersen at Wisky will be very solid, O'Brien at PSU is extremely good given the sanctions. I am not holding my breath on Beckmann or Hoke or Ferentz. Jury still out on Pelini. So 8 schools of the 12 are bringing it with solid coaches... My guess eventually at least two of the four will make some adjustments soon. 
I like where the B1G will be in the next 2-3 years....

Our arch rivals.... 11 National Championships, 10 before 1949 - eight of eleven shared. Trying to respect them... trying.... Ugh!

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

I feel very sorry for the man and wish him as little discomfort as possible.
I can't help but remember that open letter written to Kill by a wide receiver quitting the team.  It cited instances of verbal and physical abuse, and just overall dueschbaggery.  He is probably a good husband/father/grandfather, but he has too much "intense coach" in him.
But it really is a shame that they can't get those seizures under control with some Lamictal or Klonopin or Tegretol or some such medicine.

buckskin's picture

Here's hoping Kill gets his health back on track.  Good luck coach.