Sept 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill waves his arms up and down to the crowd after beating the Syracuse Orange at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Head coach Jerry Kill has decided to step away from the Gophers for an unknown amount of time as he focuses on treatment for his epileptic seizures.
News of Kill’s indefinite leave came via press conference on Thursday at TCF Bank Stadium and was hosted by athletic director Norwood Teague and defensive coordinator Tracey Claeys. The pair emphasized that the leave was Kill’s decision.
While there’s no time-table for Kill’s return, it’s possible he could be back by the time the Gophers are on the field again.
Teague didn’t want to “put percentages” on Kill returning for Minnesota’s next game against Northwestern on Oct. 19 in Evanston, but he did say that Kill could be back by then.
In the meantime, Claeys will act as head coach while offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover assists in running the team through the bye week.
"My wife Rebecca, myself and our two daughters want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns during the last few weeks. This was a difficult decision to make, but the right decision. Our staff has been together a long time and I have full confidence in Coach Claeys and them during my time away. Every decision that will be made will be in the best interest of the players and the program. I look forward to returning to the Minnesota sideline on a full-time basis soon."
"Coach Kill is taking time to continue treatment and focus on managing his Epilepsy.Tracy Claeys will serve as the acting head coach until Coach Kill is ready to return. Coach Kill will remain in very close contact with the team and his staff and provide direction and support as needed. Our support for Coach Kill is unwavering and we look forward to his return to full-time coaching duties.This is a great group of student-athletes under the guidance of one of the longest-tenured and most respected staffs in college football, and there is no doubt in my mind that they will continue to move this program forward and make us proud."
President Eric Kaler’s Statement
"Athletics Director Norwood Teague and Coach Kill are managing this health situation, as it relates to our football program, in the most straightforward and caring manner possible. They are acting in the best interests of this University, its alumni and fans and, most importantly, the student-athletes who have placed their trust in us. I eagerly look forward to Coach Kill’s return and wish him all the best."