Epilepsy forces Rutgers football coach Jerry Kill to retire
PISCATAWAY — Jerry Kill, a longtime coach who spent last season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers, has retired for health reasons, the school announced Tuesday.
Kill, 56, stepped down as Minnesota's coach in 2015 because of epilepsy. He suffered a seizure and was hospitalized on Sept. 10, one day after getting knocked to the ground on the sidelines during a game against Eastern Michigan.
After he was hit, Kill said he was lightheaded and "really discombobulated." He had the seizure the next day.
Kill managed to make it through the season. The Scarlet Knights finished 4-8.
"I hope that through my 34 years of coaching that I was able to be a positive influence on young people because that is truly why I coach. I want to thank all the players for what they have done for me," Kill said in a statement. "I don't have any regrets and I've had a blessed career. I love this game and all the coaches that I've worked with. They have all made Jerry Kill a better man. I know that I did it the right way and I did it my way. I gave everything I had to the game, I just ran out of juice."
A native of Cheyney, Kansas, Kill played football at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.
His head coaching career spanned 22 years at five schools: Saginaw Valley State (1994-98), Emporia State (1999-2000), Southern Illinois (2001-07), Northern Illinois (2008-10) and Minnesota (2011-15). He took Northern Illinois and Minnesota to three bowl games each and posted a 152-99 career record.
He had kidney cancer in 2005, and his epilepsy started to affect him during his first season at Minnesota.
He spent 2016 in an administrative role at Kansas State before joining coach Chris Ash's staff at Rutgers.
His departure means that next season, Rutgers will have its ninth offensive coordinator in nine years.
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