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Jerry Kill misses Michigan game after seizure

Posted: October 5, 2013 3:23 p.m.
Updated: October 5, 2013 3:23 p.m.

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill watches his team during the third quarter against San Jose State in Minneapolis on Saturday.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Minnesota coach Jerry Kill suffered another seizure and missed an entire game for the first time because of his epilepsy.

Kill didn’t make the trip with the Golden Gophers to play No. 19 Michigan, where Minnesota lost 42-13.

Two Santa Clarita Valley graduates play for Kill, in freshman wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky, a Canyon graduate, and senior defensive back Brock Vereen, a Valencia graduate.

Minnesota officials say Kill was not feeling well on Friday, but planned to travel to Ann Arbor on Saturday to coach in the game. But he suffered a seizure on Saturday morning and was resting at home in Minneapolis while his team warmed up to face the Wolverines.

It's the fifth game-day seizure he has had in three seasons at Minnesota, and the second this year.

Kill did not coach the second half against Western Illinois, the third game he wasn't able to finish because of a seizure. He returned for the next two games.

The school said defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys would serve as the active head coach at Michigan, leading the team from the press box. Kill made contact with his coaching staff before kickoff Saturday, according to the school.

"The kids are resilient, they're ready to roll as they always are," athletic director Norwood Teague said Saturday on KFAN radio. "Jerry's staff is the most cohesive staff in all of college football."

Kill has worked hard to embrace his epilepsy, becoming an outspoken advocate for research of the condition that can include seizures without a moment's notice.

He has said it is unacceptable to consistently miss portions of games due to seizuresKill also has said he would walk away if he came to the conclusion that the stresses of the job and the physical toll it was taking was too much for him to bear.

Teague gave Kill a strong vote of confidence earlier this season, saying he is 100-percent behind his coach. Kill has also had consistent support from university President Eric Kaler.

Teague told KFAN that Kill was able to lead practice during the week.

"He was there," Teague said. "I know it's so frustrating for him. He had a bounce this week and was at every practice. This is a setback for him. We have a bye week next week. We'll keep managing it and move forward."


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