University of Minnesota Head Football Coach Jerry Kill Retiring
What a week it has been for the state of Minnesota.
First, the sad news that Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders had lost his battle to cancer and passed away on.
Then the news came that beloved Twins star Torii Hunter had decided to retire after 19 year in the majors.
Now, the surprising news that University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill is retiring immediately due to health concerns.
Kill has been a great coach in his 32 years in coaching but health concerns are nothing new when it comes to the story-line surrounding Jerry Kill.
It's been well documented since 2005 his bouts with seizures after being diagnosed with epilepsy and at times the seizures have occurred while he has been on the sideline.
"I don't want to be a liability," an emotional Kill said. "I don't want somebody to have to worry about if I'm going to drop on the field. I don't want to coach from the press box. I want to coach the way I coached my whole life.
"I don't have any more energy. None. I've left it all here in the great state of Minnesota. And I have no regrets."
I was at the Gophers loss to the Huskers two weeks back and in the post game press conference, Kill got a little testy when I asked him some quesitions that normally I don't think would have made him on edge.
Looking back at what we know now and the recent flare up of health concerns, it had to be then and now a very emotional time for him.
"This is not the way I wanted to go out," Kill said. "But you all know about the struggles. And I did my best to change. But some of those struggles have returned. And I don't want to cheat the game. And I ain't going to change.
"I know somebody will ask, 'Coach, what are you going to do?' I don't know. I ain't done anything else. That's the scary part."
I've been a Jerry Kill fan and knowing what it was like as a student to sit the student section at the University of Minnesota and know that your team was going to somehow eventually let you down, Kill instilled a sense of optimism that I don't ever remember feeling about Gopher football.
In 2013 Kill actually had to step away from the program as head coach due to the seizures and Tracy Claeys who took over then in his absence will now take over on the interim basis.
Jerry had not missed anytime since 2013 and took the Gophers to their first New Years Day bowl game since 1962.
During his coaching career, Kill tallied up a record of 156-102.
The Gophers now prepare for Michigan this weekend at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis without Jerry Kill as their head coach and with a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Gopher football program.