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Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill Retires Because of Health

Brian Ekart/Icon Sportswire

It has been a crazy year in college football in regards to coaches being fired or retiring, and unfortunately that trend continued on Wednesday morning when Minnesota football head coach Jerry Kill announced his retirement.

The most unfortunate part about this news is that Kill isn’t stepping down because of bad performance and he’s not getting too old for the job and doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. In fact, when looking at quotes from Kill one gets the distinct impression that if he had his own way, he wouldn’t be retiring right now.

Kill has notably struggled with having seizures and in fact he’s dealt with more than just epilepsy.

When he was coaching at Southern Illinois, a seizure led to a check-up, which led to the diagnosis of kidney cancer. Remarkably, Kill defeated the cancer, but the epilepsy has remained a problem. In fact, seizures caused him to miss a game against Michigan in 2013 and take two weeks off to treat himself. After that, he coached from the press box while defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys worked as the acting head coach for seven games.

Minnesota announced today that Kill is retiring, effective immediately, because of his health.

In fact, Kill relayed today that he had two seizures before practice on Tuesday but still decided to gut it out, even though his decision to step down for his health was already made.

It’s easy to tell that his epilepsy is still an issue, and the stress of being a big-time college football coach certainly doesn’t help.

Kill informed most of his staff on Wednesday morning of his decision to step down. Claeys will once again take over the Gophers program and be Minnesota’s interim head coach.

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