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Minnesota Football: Jerry Kill Taking Time to Focus on Epilepsy Treatment

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

This just in from the University of Minnesota, Head Coach Jerry Kill will be taking time away from football to focus on treatment for his epilepsy.

Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague announced today that head football coach Jerry Kill is continuing to take time to focus on his treatment and better manage his Epilepsy.

In Kill's absence, Tracy Claeys will take over as Interim Head Coach.

Statements from all of the necessary people.

Head Coach Jerry Kill

"My wife Rebecca, myself and our two daughters want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns during the last few weeks. This was a difficult decision to make, but the right decision. Our staff has been together a long time and I have full confidence in Coach Claeys and them during my time away. Every decision that will be made will be in the best interest of the players and the program. I look forward to returning to the Minnesota sideline on a full-time basis soon."

Director of Athletics Norwood Teague

"Coach Kill is taking time to continue treatment and focus on managing his Epilepsy. Tracy Claeys will serve as the interim head coach until Coach Kill is ready to return. Coach Kill will remain in very close contact with the team and his staff and provide direction and support as needed. Our support for Coach Kill is unwavering and we look forward to his return to full-time coaching duties.

"This is a great group of student-athletes under the guidance of one of the longest-tenured and most respected staffs in college football, and there is no doubt in my mind that they will continue to move this program forward and make us proud."

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler

"Athletics Director Norwood Teague and Coach Kill are managing this health situation, as it relates to our football program, in the most straightforward and caring manner possible. They are acting in the best interests of this University, its alumni and fans and, most importantly, the student-athletes who have placed their trust in us. I eagerly look forward to Coach Kill's return and wish him all the best."

While this is not totally shocking news, it certainly wasn't expected.

Jerry Kill missed the 2nd half of the Western Illinois game and did not even make the trip to Michigan this past weekend.  Missing 6 quarters of the 20 played this year is pretty significant and taking the time to make sure that he has his medication and treatment plan worked out is probably the right move.  Stepping away now is less distracting for the team than not knowing day-to-day what to expect.

I have a ton of questions, as I'm sure you all do as well.  There will be a press conference with Norwood Teague and Coach Claeys at 3:15 this afternoon.

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