University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill joined Dave Lee
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.
Quarterback Mitch Leidner rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns to lift Minnesota to a 43-24 victory over San Jose State on Saturday. Leidner was filling in for injured starter Philip Nelson, who was out with a bad hamstring. He also passed for 71 yards as the Golden Gophers improved to 4-0. Gophers coach Jerry Kill returned to the sideline a week after missing the second half because of an epileptic seizure and made it through the game without incident.
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.
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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.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill suffered another game-day seizure, at halftime while the Gophers were playing Western Illinois on Saturday, and was taken to a local hospital as a precaution. The university said Kill was resting comfortably, after he was taken away on a stretcher following his latest episode. Kill was lying on the ground right after the Gophers left for the locker room with a 7-6 lead, writhing back and forth for several minutes with medical staff surrounding him in attempt to keep him as still as possible to prevent injury.
Philip Nelson was a gifted quarterback from Mankato West, where he was turning heads in the Big Ten. He committed to Minnesota, and in his sophomore season he’s progressing like he did in high school. “It’s a lot like high school when it comes to each year you play, it slows down noticeably, and that’s where I’m at right now. It’s taken a step slower for me, and I think as an offense we all feel the same way,” Nelson said.
One player to watch in the metro area — Minneapolis Washburn’s Jeff Jones. He’s a football player, he’s an athlete, and he’s got some gifts you cannot teach. Watch him on the football field and it becomes a game of “catch me if you can.”
Touting a strong finish to the previous season is a natural talking point for any college football team. At Minnesota, momentum has been trumpeted all summer. Even though the Gophers lost their bowl game to fall to 6-7 and won only once after Halloween, they showed signs of progress after back-to-back 3-9 finishes.
The University of Minnesota football program announced its Big Ten football schedule for 2015 Monday morning. The Gophers will have Big Ten Conference home games against Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. They’ll travel to face Northwestern, Purdue, Ohio State and Iowa.
Century Community College left-handed ace Jared Dettman, who is pitching in the Junior College World series, should get drafted for a second time next week. Cedar Rapids Kernels’ manager Jake Mauer sees some similarities between first-round prospect Byron Buxton and his brother – the Twins’ Joe Mauer. The Timberwolves are concerned about Kevin Love’s conditioning since his injury ended his season.
Minnesota and Texas Christian will play non-conference football games in 2014 and 2015. Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague announced the agreement on Tuesday.
In 2010, Gophers wide receiver Connor Cosgrove was diagnosed with leukemia. It was a diagnosis that changed his life, but in a way that he’s working hard to make is for the better.