Gophers coach Jerry Kill declines further seizure discussion - KMSP-TV

Gophers coach Jerry Kill declines further seizure discussion

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill would like to thank everyone for their thoughts over the weekend, but declined to talk further about his seizure at halftime of Saturday's game.

Kill held his weekly press conference at noon Tuesday -- his first opportunity to address questions and criticism since Saturday's incident.

"Number one, I appreciate everybody's thoughts and things through the weekend," he said.

One thing coach Kill made clear is that he would never consider running the game from the press box – something Gophers athletics director Norwood Teague was asked about Monday.

"No," he said with a laugh. "It wouldn't make any difference, that's all I'll tell you."

The Gophers' coaching staff has been with Jerry Kill for a long time, and they have an action plan that is executed with poise and precision any time the head coach has a medical issue.

"The team knows what they have to do, and nothing changes," defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said.

Kill has epilepsy and has now suffered four game-day seizures in three seasons with the Gophers. Before Saturday, his most recent seizure occurred in the locker room at halftime against Michigan State in the last game of the 2012 regular season. He also suffered a seizure after a loss to Northwestern last October and on the sidelines in the last minute of a 2011 loss to New Mexico State.

On Tuesday, Kill did not take any other questions about Saturday's seizure, and two of the team's top players spoke with FOX 9 News to say they stand behind him.

"He's the best thing that's happened to this program in years," Brock Vereen, defensive back for the Gophers, said.

Ra'Shede Hageman, defensive lineman, pointed out the team has been through this before and that Kill prepares them to concentrate on the game whether he is there or not.

"You know Coach Kill, he's a fighter, and he's taught us a few things about that," Hageman added. "I feel like him being on his feet and coaching is fine with me."

Now, the team -- and Kill as well -- are concentrating on San Jose State as the face-off against the team will take place on Saturday at The Bank.

"The game is not about a head football coach," Kill said. "It's about the players, and that's how we'll approach it."

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