Ailing head coach Jerry Kill watched from a private box as Minnesota turned two second half turnovers into scores en route to a 20-17 Big Ten victory over Northwestern Saturday.
Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) is expected to be missing a key figure again, with coach Jerry Kill on a leave of absence due to his epilepsy. He’s had five seizures on game days in two-plus seasons as the Golden Gophers’ coach, and he missed the most recent game, a loss at Michigan two weeks ago.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has a well-timed bye week to recover from his latest seizure. Team spokesman Paul Rovnak said Kill stayed at home on Sunday to rest. He had an episode the day before that kept him from traveling to the game at Michigan. The Gophers don’t play again until Oct. 19, so this is a low-key week. Assistant coaches held a brief meeting with players before leaving the facility.
With all of the questions regarding coach Jerry Kill’s absence and its affect on the Gopher football team, fans like Sue McCormick and Michael Doyle say they weren’t concerned during Saturday’s game in Michigan. “We’re there to be support him no matter what,” McCormick said. While they want to see the coach healthy, they said they don’t think he should be fired – unless he wants to step down. “I think it should be his decision, not anybody else’s,” McCormick said.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill had just finished addressing his team after last week’s win over San Jose State when he was approached by Eric Kaler, the president of the university.
When Philip Nelson’s right hamstring strain forced him out of the game, Minnesota turned to redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner at quarterback. Leidner started for the Gophers last week, too, rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns and tops the depth chart going into the Big Ten opener Saturday against Iowa. Nelson, the sophomore who took over at midseason last year, has no guarantees of getting the job back.
University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill joined Dave Lee
After a big game in a big win over San Jose State on Saturday, Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner earned some Big Ten Conference recognition on Monday. Leidner, a redshirt freshman from Lakeville, ran for 151 yards and four touchdowns as the Gophers finished 4-0 in the non-conference schedule after a 43-24 win over San Jose State.
Gopher head coach Jerry Kill received a spirited show of support before Saturday’s game against San Jose State. Hundreds of people gathered outside TCF Bank Stadium for a rally organized by the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. The outpour of support comes after Kill suffered a seizure during last week’s game. It was third time in the last three years he missed part of a game because of his epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota announced Wednesday it will host a rally on Saturday for Gophers football coach Jerry Kill before Minnesota hosts San Jose State at TCF Bank Stadium.
Two days after his latest seizure on the sidelines, Gopher football coach Jerry Kill was back at work. And the U’s athletic director said he supports the coach “100 percent.” The coach was taken off the field at halftime of Saturday’s game at TCF Bank Stadium. It was the third time in three years that he’s had to miss part of a game because of his epilepsy. It’s uncharted territory for a major college sports program, having this happen so frequently and so publicly.
Three seizures during three games in two years have Gopher fans like Margaret Swanson wondering if coach Jerry Kill’s struggles with epilepsy are too much for the job. “I feel so bad because it seems to be happening a lot,” Swanson said. “I wonder what happens in the locker room when he doesn’t come in…I’m sure it takes a toll on them a little bit.” Dr. Thaddeus Walczak is an epileptologist at the University of Minnesota. He says that although high-stress situations – like football games – could make seizures more likely to occur in someone with epilepsy, that’s not a reason to change careers.
This is the week Minnesota was originally scheduled to play at North Carolina. Instead, the Gophers are going to New Mexico State, having spent $800,000 to get out of the two-game contract with the Tar Heels because coach Jerry Kill was concerned about the confidence of his young players on the road against a formidable nonconference opponent.
The University of Minnesota football team is playing its second game of the season Saturday night at New Mexico State. If you want to watch it live, you may have to head to your nearest sports bar.
A trifecta of major sporting events plus the Minnesota State Fair will make for a busy day in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team are all in action at their Minneapolis stadiums on Thursday.