Jerry Kill seems uneasy speaking about his epileptic seizures, but a particularly heartless email caused him to give an impassioned speech on his medical situation.
The Minnesota coach's epileptic seizures became a topic again after he had one in the locker room after Minnesota lost to Northwestern last week. He had a well-publicized seizure on the sideline during a game against New Mexico State last season.
He said this week that he wouldn't quit coaching because of the seizures, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He is always in danger of having another one, saying "I'm going to have them for the rest of my life. I could have one today." And you root for him, unless you're the miserable person that reportedly emailed Kill this week calling him a freak.
Kill responded in a way that makes you root for him even more.
CoachingSearch.com transcribed part of an interview Kill had with KFAN 100.3 in the Twin Cities, in which he revealed he got the email, then challenged the fan to come see him about it:
"I've had some people attack me in different ways," he said. "I've been called, 'We've got a freak coaching the Minnesota Gophers.' I think that is the baddest thing that you can say to an individual. I'm going to give a statistic out to the person who had the guts to send that to me in an e-mail. One out of six people in the state of Minnesota has epilepsy.
"Just nobody's real proud about saying it because it's a tough situation to deal with. But I'm going to say it as the head coach of the University of Minnesota to all the people that are the one out of the six that I'm not a freak and neither are they. We're normal people. (I'm) trying to coach the game of football.
"Let me tell you, you want to walk in my shoes? You want to walk in to Joe Senser's (where the radio show is) and not know if you're going to have a seizure today? Or you walk onto the practice field? There are people that are vice president right here in our great state of Minnesota dealing with the same thing, and they're public figures, it's just they're not covered like I am, which is good.
"So I'm going to take a negative - since I was called a freak - and I'm going to turn it into a positive. I'm going to work my tail end off for the people that have the same situation I have. Maybe I'll get in trouble for this, but I've always told it like it is, but I am a tough person, and I've got a tough wife. The best way I can put it: Anybody who has the guts to do that, come see me. I'll show you how damn tough I am."
The audio of the interview can be found here.
Kill told the Minnesota media this week he doesn't really want to talk about his medical issue anymore. That would be a shame. He seems like the perfect role model for those who have epilepsy.
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