Minnesota's Jerry Kill resigns for health reasons


Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has resigned for health reasons.

The resignation of the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year will take effect immediately, according to the school.

Kill was emotional in discussing his decision at a press conference on Wednesday, calling it the toughest thing he's done in his life.

"I've given every ounce that I have for 32 years to the game of football and the kids I've been able to coach," Kill said. "... I know somebody will ask 'Coach, what are you going to do?' I don't know. I ain't done anything else. That's the scary part."

Kill has epilepsy, and missed seven games during a leave of absence in 2013 to focus on treatment. He said Wednesday that he made the decision to step away after receiving advice from his doctor.

"You all know about the struggles," he said. "I did my best to change, but some of those struggles have returned, and I don't want to cheat the game."

He said he suffered two seizures but still went to practice Tuesday to give it "one last shot."

"Last night, when I walked off the practice field, I feel like a part of me died," Kill said. "I love this game. I love what it's done for my family. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to coach this game."

He was 29-29 at the school since his first season in 2011, and was 156-102 overall in his coaching career. Interim athletic director Beth Goetz named defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. Claeys also served as acting head coach during Kill's absence in 2013.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a Minnesota native, was among those that wished Kill and his wife, Rebecca, well on Wednesday.

Kill's decision leaves the Golden Gophers as the eighth FBS program facing a coaching change, joining USC, South Carolina, Miami, Maryland, Illinois, Central Florida and North Texas.

Minnesota plays host to Michigan on Saturday.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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