MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill announced on Thursday — national Rise Above Seizures Day — he will be making a $100,000 donation to help children dealing with epilepsy.
The coach has been very open about suffering from epilepsy. He suffered a series of seizures on the sidelines last season that had some questioning if he would be able to perform his job.
Kill said he hopes to show others the disorder doesn’t have to get in the way of living a full life. Kill said his donation will go to the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota in order to launch the “Chasing Dreams with Coach Kill” fund.
The coach said he hopes his donation helps people be prepared to help someone having a seizure and to learn more about epilepsy. He said he’s hoping to get in every school in the state and educate students so that young children are not ashamed of having epilepsy.
Kill said he didn’t always want to talk about his condition, but when it came to the public’s attention, he felt it was time to help others. Kill has had five seizures during Minnesota games; two of them during the most recent season season kept him from coaching one game. He eased up a bit by coaching from the box but maintained he wouldn’t leave the job he loves.
So far as his health is currently going, he said he is continuing to work with doctors to monitor his health and it is a top priority, but he has maintained coaching is good for him and a release in many ways.
At the Thursday press conference, Kill did not address the situation surrounding former quarterback Philip Nelson, who is charged with two felony counts of assault following the beating of former Minnesota State University-Mankato linebacker Isaac Kolstad. But a statement was released through the U’s athletics department on Kill’s behalf: “What happened was a tragic situation, and I am sending my thoughts and prayers to all the families involved.”