Gopher Head Coach Suffers Seizures On The Sidelines
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Gopher head coach Jerry Kill suffered a heat caused seizure on the sidelines of TCF Bank Stadium during the final seconds of Saturday’s home opener game against New Mexico State.
According to the Big Ten Network, Kill is in stable condition at a local hospital.
At a press conference Saturday evening, a Gopher spokesperson said Kill suffered a heat caused seizure stemming from complications with his cancer medication.
Gopher team doctor Pat Smith said Kill “was at no time under any risk in any way.”
The Gophers lost Saturday’s game, 28-21. But as emergency responders carried Kill off the field, the crowd chanted, “Jerry! Jerry!”
While Gophers players looked shocked and concerned to see their coach go down on the sidelines, Kill’s coaching staff remained calm.
Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said previous experience with Kill’s seizures made Saturday’s episode easier to handle.
“It looks worse than what it is, for the most part,” Claeys said. “He’s never missed a game. We just told our kids don’t panic with it. We’ll keep them up to date.”
Gopher staff said they expect Kill to be out of the hospital Sunday and coaching next week’s game. They also said the seizure Kill suffered Saturday was not as severe as the one he suffered in 2005.
Kill’s Seizure History
Kill twice had seizures late in games while coaching at Southern Illinois, once in 2001 and again in 2005. He also collapsed and had a seizure while taping a television show in 2006. Each time, he was able to return to work without missing a game.
Kill has been taking medication to control the seizures for years, some of which doctors say stem from his treatment for kidney cancer. He had one in the closing seconds of Southern Illinois’ 61-35 home loss to Illinois State on Oct. 15, 2005 and another in at the school November 2001.
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