Despite seizures, Minnesota’s Kill has no plans to slow down

Graham Watson

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill may have been back on the sideline one week after suffering a seizure on the field at the end of the Gophers' game against New Mexico State, but he's not exactly better.

During his press conference this week, Kill said he was still suffering from seizures but had no intention of putting a halt to his coaching career.

"What the hell am I supposed to do?" Kill asked. "Stop? I mean, sit in a chair and wait for the next God-dang seizure to come along? There's people that got them every day. I've had about 20 of them in the last six damn days and I'm still walking, still coaching."

Kill was cleared by doctors to return to his coaching duties despite a scary scene on the sideline on Sept. 11 when Kill collapsed while Minnesota was going for the game-tying touchdown against New Mexico State with seconds remaining in the game. Medical personnel rushed to Kill's aid as he started seizing on the ground.

This wasn't the first time Kill had suffered a seizure during a game. Twice he suffered seizures while the coach of Southern Illinois in 2001 and 2005. He also had a seizure in 2006 while taping a television show. The hospital trip in 2005 ultimately revealed Kill had kidney cancer.
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Similar to this incident, Kill always returned without missing a game.

Kill said the seizures are a result of dehydration caused by his various medications.

"I guess everybody knows, from having cancer, I have a seizure disorder; and when you get your medication, you get dehydrated;" Kill said. "And then they put medication in you; and you put different kinds of medication in your body, it don't work too good sometimes and it ain't worked too damn good this time.

"So they need to get it figured out. And that's my wife's job and that's why I've been married 29 years. She's a hell of a woman and she's trying to get it figured out. We've got good medical people here and they will eventually get it figured out."

Most people in Kill's situation might take a break, slow down, find a career that's a little less stressful, but not Kill. Despite the fact that his first season at Minnesota has gotten off to a 1-2 start, including a loss to New Mexico State, which hadn't beaten an AQ team since 1999, Kill has no desire to rethink his career path. If anything, his medical situation, coupled with Minnesota's struggles, has fired him up.

"I can't control what I can't control," Kill said. "I believe in one man and that's the Big Man Upstairs, and I'm going to go like hell until I go down and when I go down, and they can do whatever they do and I'm going to go again. That's who I am and I ain't changing. And if that ain't good enough, well, I've been doing it for six years, and I've coached pretty damn good the last six years and I'll coach pretty damn good for the next 15."