Coach Kill, A Class Act

Yale and Susan Norwick

Recently, David Frigaard, a beloved husband, father, teacher, coach and small business owner was unexpectedly taken from us. David’s passions were his family, art, teaching and mentoring students and Golden Gophers football.

I called the Gophers football office on Friday, five days before “national signing day.” I wanted to see if head coach Jerry Kill could personally sign a Gophers flag that we would put into a frame. I hoped we could do it before the memorial service the following Monday. The first person I talked to, passed on her condolences and forwarded me to Kill’s personal assistant. I left a message and his assistant called me back and left a message.

Regrettably, I missed that call. I called Saturday morning and there was no answer, so I left another message and also sent an email to Kill. His auto-reply said he was recruiting and would not have much time to check emails and to contact his office.

Saturday night, Kill himself called my cell. He left a message saying he had recruits visiting his home Sunday morning and also meeting recruits Sunday afternoon at the football complex. He gave me his personal cell number.

I left Kill a message Sunday morning. He called me back early afternoon and gave me a time to come to the complex. My wife and I were greeted by linebacker coach Mike Sherels with a smile who asked if I was the gentlemen with the flag and that he had been briefed by coach Kill that we were coming.

Kill walked in exactly when he said he would. He was gracious and had taken the time to read Dave’s obituary. He laid the flag out and wrote, “Dave, to the best fan! Coach Kill. Go Gophers.”

Monday morning on the way to the memorial service, I received a call from his office asking if there was still time for Kill to sign the flag. She was unaware that Kill contacted me himself over the weekend.

Everyone was very kind and had a smile. The fact that Kill and his staff contacted me four times in three days during one of his busiest weeks is amazing.

Dave’s family was given the flag and was truly touched. We were told that the flag will go to his three children. All of us who were lucky enough to know David Frigaard are thankful for the classiness and compassion of Kill and his entire Gophers football staff.