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Golden Nugz: Jerry Kill Retirement Edition (10.28.15)

Since announcing his unexpected retirement due to health concerns this morning, there has been an outpouring of online praise and support for Coach Jerry Kill.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

There is no question that we're all shocked and saddened that Jerry Kill has decided to retire as head football coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers out of concerns for his health. If there is a silver lining -- aside from the fact that Coach Kill can now focus on his health -- it is the overwhelming response from both fans and media alike. Everyone has been vocal in supporting Coach Kill and there has been no shortage of praise for one of the most respected coaches in college football.

I've collected here a few of the most prominent pieces from across the Web about Jerry Kill and the Golden Gophers that have been published this morning.

Jerry Kill To Retire Immediately

"One Hell of A Man" - SB Nation
Past, present, and future Gophers react to the unexpected news of Coach Kill retiring.

Never Die Easy - Off Tackle Empire
"Truth be told, outright winning isn't what Jerry Kill ever seemed to be about. Not in the way other coaches are, anyhow. His mantra of "Brick-by-Brick" encompassed more than the idea of turning a program around. That simple phrase, emblazoned on the walls surrounding the field, spoke of a man who'd overcome so much adversity to reach a place he loved--a place where he was determined to make a difference in the lives of his players and his community."

Jerry Kill One of Game's Best Coaches, People - Big Ten Network
"In short, he was a handshake-is-my-word kind of guy from a black-and-white Andy Griffith era who was as pure as his modest Cheney, Kansas, roots would suggest. This is a ball cap-wearing guy from a roll-up your sleeves family who was the first to graduate from college. No way he was gonna let his family down."

Jerry Kill's Retirement A Heartbreaker For All Involved - ESPN
"Sure, Kill had the ability to turn previously moribund programs into winners throughout his career. Even better than that, though, people related to him. There was nothing slick or invented about Kill. He was a true, by-your-bootstraps success story who never forgot his roots."

Jerry Kill's Retirement Takes Away A Reminder of College Sports' Goodness - Sports Illustrated
"It is easy to become cynical about college sports, but Kill is a reminder of what they can and should be. He is a man who loves football and has a passion for leaving his players and programs better than he found them. It makes his unexpected retirement all the more tragic, even if it's unquestionably the correct decision."

Jerry Kill's Press Conference

Jerry Kill Gave Everything He Had To University - Star Tribune
"I've never hidden my belief that Kill is the best thing that's happened to Gophers football in a long, long time. He got this program on its feet again, gave it hope, structure and life. He leaves the program in far better shape than the mess he inherited."

Football Saved Jerry Kill's Life, But Now It Is His Turn To Save His Health - CBS Sports
"I was embedded with the Gophers that weekend, trying to get inside this unique relationship. These players, his incredibly loyal coaches, were 100 percent behind their leader who -- they knew -- could collapse at any moment."

So what comes next? The focus is on Coach Kill at the moment, and rightfully so, but one site broached the topic of new interim head coach Tracy Claeys.

Tracy Claeys Can Help Ease Transition at Minnesota - ESPN
"The transition, while a shock, should be made easier by a staff that has worked with each other for a long time. Kill said he's confident that they will keep the program rolling in a positive direction during the final five games of the season."

I'm sure the topic of Claeys and the future of Gopher football will be discussed at length throughout the rest of the season, so for now, I'm content with seeing Coach Kill receive the recognition he deserves.