Minnesota coach Kill cleared to return to work after seizure

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E Sports) – Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill has been cleared to return to work Monday after suffering a minor seizure following the Gophers’ 21-13 loss to Northwestern Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said Kill was released from a suburban Minneapolis hospital Sunday, expecting the coach to report Monday. Despite his condition, Kill has never missed a game since he assumed post in December 2010.

Minnesota also released a statement, saying Kill was tested and cleared to return to work.

“All tests confirm that he remains in excellent health,” Dr. Pat Smith, the Gophers’ team physician, said in the statement. “His only concern is his team and his staff, and he is excited to resume his normal coaching duties.”

The seizure happened in Kill’s private locker room less than an hour after the game ended. No players witnessed the seizure but they were informed via text message of his condition.

“He wishes it wasn’t public, because it doesn’t affect how we do things, how we prepare. Without a doubt, that’s the most frustrating thing to him,” Claeys said.

The Gophers (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten) face Wisconsin in Madison Saturday.

The Gophers have an automatic succession plan if ever Kill is hospitalized, with Claeys taking on some of his duties, like day-after media obligations, conduct team meeting and Sunday practice.

As much as possible, Kill doesn’t like to draw attention to his condition, saying it should not affect the team.

“You can’t ever say that it’s a non-issue. You can’t predict what will happen,” Kill said in July. “But I know that I’ve worked very hard. I’ve lost 12 or 13 pounds, I walk every day, I’ve been to the Mayo Clinic and got a clean bill of health. I’m cancer-free. So I feel very good. I’m in good shape.”

Kill said if his condition is affecting the team’s performance and morale, then he will walk away immediately.

“I’m not going to cheat the University of Minnesota, and I’m not going to cheat our fans. I’d walk away from it before allowing it to affect the program,” he said.

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