Yet another FBS head-coaching job has opened up, although this one for decidedly different reasons than the others.
In an abrupt turn of events, Jerry Kill announced Wednesday morning that he is stepping down as Minnesota’s head coach, effective immediately. Kill cited increasing health concerns as the trigger for his decision.
In 2013, Kill missed a handful of games because of seizures induced by his decade-long battle with epilepsy. According to Kill, doctors told him he could do long-term damage to his health if he continued down the coaching path. In fact, Kill admitted during a very emotional press conference that he had two seizures before going to practice yesterday and allowed that he “probably wasn’t supposed to go there.”
Kill informed his assistants this morning of his decision to step down. Defensive coordinator/interim head coach Tracy Claeys will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
In his fifth season with the Gophers, Kill has gone 29-29. However, that record is 20-13 over the past two-plus years. For his entire 22-year coaching career that included stops at Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Emporia State and Saginaw Valley State, Kill sports a lifetime record of 152-99.
While the Gophers will conduct a search for Kill’s replacement, Claeys could very well take over on a permanent basis.
Minnesota becomes the eighth FBS opening before the calendar turns to November. Illinois, Maryland, Miami, North Texas, South Carolina, UCF and USC had opened previously.