Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Kill hospitalized after seizure, Nelson hurt as Gophers rally to win

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers injuries, Gophers game day Updated: September 14, 2013 - 11:00 PM

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill had another epileptic seizure at halftime of Saturday's 29-12 victory over Western Illinois and was taken off the field on a stretcher.

Kill, who suffers from epilepsy, collapsed on the sideline as the players were leaving the field and was tended to by the team's medical staff while the marching band performed its halftime show. Kill was later taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.

After the game, Gophers spokesman Chris Werle read a statement on Kill's condition: “Coach Kill suffered a seizure at the end of the first half of today's game against western Illinois. He was attended to by medical personnel on the field and was then driven to a local hospital to ensure proper medication levels. He is resting comfortably. Coach Kill’s staff, which is one of the most tenured in the nation … and his team know the situation and are well-prepared to handle something like this if it arises. Coach Kill’s condition has been documented by the media in town and nationally. Fans are aware that he has epilepsy and that situations like this can happen. With that being said, we don’t feel the need to take any further questions on the matter.”

By 4:15 p.m., he was back at home, according to Gophers officials.

Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague was not made available for comment, but he is expected to address Kill's health later this week.

It was the third time in three years as Minnesota's coach that Kill has missed part of a game after suffering a seizure. He had one in the locker room at halftime against Michigan State in last year's regular season finale and missed the second half. He also had one on the sidelines in the last minute of a loss to New Mexico State in 2011.

The Gophers coaching staff, which plans for these episodes, again had defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys serve as acting head coach from the booth, with defensive backs coach Jay Sawvel representing the team on the sideline.

I just went around to each group and said, hey, do your job. We’ve been trained well. Don’t care about what the score is, go out and play hard, do your job and all things will work out the way they’re supposed to be," Claeys said. "I know everybody tries to spin it, it’s going to have an effect, I’m telling you, we know how to coach football. The kids know how to play. They’ve been trained very well."

Kill, who turned 52 last month, spent the offseason working with a new epileptologist and felt confident coming into the season.

“It’s not something I’m going to solve in a month,” he told the Star Tribune this summer. "The worst thing that’s ever happened to me is the Michigan State situation. You can’t be the head football coach and miss half of a game. I mean, I’m not stupid, I realize that.

“If I was doing those things, the university wouldn’t have to fire me. I’d walk away if I didn’t think I could do it. But that won’t happen because you’re talking to a guy that wasn’t supposed to be here anyway.”

Matt Hodson, a spokesman for the University of Minnesota, said President Eric Kaler was not available for comment Saturday.

However, Hodson said: “Coach Kill does have the full support of President Kaler and the university. The president was at the game today, he enjoyed another Gopher victory, he’s excited about the direction the program is going and he looks forward to having coach back at work.”

Said Claeys on Saturday: "You never truly know. That’s the frustrating thing about these things, you never truly know. I can tell you he’s done everything he’s been asked to do, who he’s working with, he’s in great shape physically, so he’s going to be [ticked] there’s no question because he’s done what he’s supposed to do. But the positive is, every time it happens, you learn more, and the situation will get better. His recovery time now is so much better than it’s ever been because of all this stuff he’s done."

On Saturday, the Gophers (3-0) also lost starting quarterback Philip Nelson to a right hamstring injury. Nelson limped off the field after a 13-yard rush early in the second quarter.

On Minnesota's next possession, backup quarterback Mitch Leidner led a 71-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by a 33-yard pass to tight end Maxx Williams on Leidner's first college completion. Leidner also carried the ball seven times for 34 yards on the drive, which was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Rodrick Williams.

The Gophers led just 7-6 at halftime and trailed 12-7 early in the third quarter after a Western Illinois touchdown. But Minnesota pulled away, getting two touchdown runs from David Cobb and a second touchdown run from Rodrick Williams.

Western Illinois fell to 2-1.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - B. Colon 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
Baltimore - U. Jimenez 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy
Kansas City - Y. Ventura 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
St. Louis - S. Miller 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Arizona - A. Chafin 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Columbus
Boston 6:30 PM
Montreal
Nashville 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT