Kill retires as head football coach

by Ben Gotz

 Raw with emotion and full of tears, Jerry Kill announce his retirement as the head coach of the University of Minnesota's football program Wednesday morning at TCF Bank Stadium.

Kill, who has battled epilepsy during his time at Minnesota, cited health concerns as his reason for leaving. He said his seizures recently returned and he hasn't had more than three hours a sleep in a night for the past three weeks.

Interim Athletics Director Beth Goetz named associate head coach Tracy Claeys the interim head coach in Kill's abscence. Claeys worked with Kill for 21 years before today's announcement, and served as the team's interim head coach for seven games during the 2013 season when Kill took a leave of abscence to focus on the treatment of his epilepsy. The Gophers were 4-3 with Claeys acting as head coach that season.

Goetz said the search process for a new head coach will begin once the Gophers season is over.

"I can't do what I love doing anymore," Kill said. "I've been a head coach 24 years. That takes a lot out of anybody."

Kill leaves seven games into his fifth season at Minnesota. His overall record as Gophers head coach is 29-29. Kill's career record in college football is 156-102.

Kill led the Gophers to their first New Year's Day bowl game since 1962 last season when the team played in the Citrus Bowl against Missouri. Kill was named the Big Ten coach of the year as well last season, after leading Minnesota to an 8-4 record.

The Gophers went to three bowl games under Kill after going 3-9 his first year on campus, but lost all three.

The Minnesota Daily will have more on this story as the day progresses.