Coach Kill's latest seizure reignites speculation over his health [UPDATE]
After Gophers football coach Jerry Kill collapsed at halftime during a September game against Western Illinois, some hoped it would be the only time his epilepsy made front-page news this season.
But Saturday morning, Kill suffered another seizure, and stayed home in Minnesota while his team traveled to Michigan -- and lost, 42-13, to the Wolverines. It was the first time in his tenure at the U that Kill's condition forced him to miss an entire game.
Over the weekend, chatter over Kill's health re-ignited. Among the commentators was the Star Tribune's Jim Souhan, who previously had to issue an apology for a column that called Kill "not healthy enough to lead."
In his column this Sunday, Souhan took a gentler approach, praising the football coach -- "Kill owns a backbone and a heart" -- before reiterating one of his earlier points: "Saturday, for the second time in four games, Kill could not do his job because of his condition."
Souhan concluded that if Kill can't improve his health, "I do believe he will eventually walk away."
Talk about Kill's seizures isn't only local: On Friday, the day before the Michigan game, the New York Times published an in-depth look at the Gopher football program, and the health of its coach. "He is probably the only college football coach in the country who has a seizure protocol," the Times wrote.
Kill has proved himself to be a dogged coach, and his comments to the Times again revealed someone who doesn't give up easily.
"If I have a seizure, I crawl, and I find a way back up," Kill said. "I'm bullheaded. I keep going."
UPDATE 12:49 p.m.:
Kill bowed out of a scheduled appearance this morning at the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota's charity golf tournament.
He was set to welcome attendees at 11 a.m., but in a Sunday night conversation with the foundation's director, Vicki Kopplin, both agreed that he should focus elsewhere Monday morning, says foundation spokesperson Melissa Becker. A tweet from the foundation adds, "He sent his regrets & is fine."
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