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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Gophers’ Kill will coach against UM

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has been afflicted with a seizure disorder for almost 20 years. Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has been afflicted with a seizure disorder for almost 20 years.
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Minnesota coach Jerry Kill was back at practice Wednesday following his release from the Mayo Clinic and will be with the Gophers when they begin Big Ten play Saturday at No. 19 Michigan.

The Star Tribune reported that Kill, who was hospitalized Sunday after suffering a seizure that day, attended the afternoon practice and called his team together for an on-field meeting.

“I got out of the hospital today. I got out a 11 [a.m.], I was back here at 1 [p.m.] for a coaches’ meeting,” Kill said. “So it isn’t like I’m going home and resting.”

Kill, in his first season with the Gophers, has been afflicted with a seizure disorder for nearly two decades. He was carted off of the field after suffering one late in a loss Sept. 10 to New Mexico State and was hospitalized for five days. Kill returned to his team that Thursday and coached in that Saturday’s game — a win over Miami (Ohio).

Kill told reporters last week he had suffered 20 seizures in the previous six days.

“I can’t control what I can’t control. I’m going to go like hell until I go down and when I go down, and they can do whatever they do and I’m going to go again. That’s who I am,” he said.

Kill’s seizure Sunday came a day after his team fell to 1-3 in a 37-24 loss to Championship Subdivision member North Dakota State. The Gophers won just three games in 2010.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Monday he was praying for Kill, whom he will coach against for the first time since 2008 when Hoke was at Ball State and Kill at Northern Illinois.

“Him and his wife Rebecca are two of the finest people you’ll ever be around,” Hoke said. “Prayers for him and his family. He’s a great person and a terrific coach.”

GRAY HURT: Kill told the Star Tribune that starting quarterback MarQueis Gray has a foot and toe injury and has not practiced this week. A determination on Gray’s availability for Saturday will be made Thursday. The Gophers have employed a two-quarterback system, so if Gray can’t play, expect to see more of freshman Max Shortell, whom Hoke tried to recruit to Michigan.

Shortell is 13-for-28 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Unlike the fleet footed Gray (87 rushing yards per game), Shortell (6-foot-6, 226 pounds) is primarily a pocket passer.

BARNUM SITS OUT: Michigan left guard Ricky Barnum sat out Tuesday’s practice and his status for Saturday’s game is uncertain, Hoke said Wednesday. Barnum left last week’s win over San Diego State with an injured ankle but returned to play. If he’s unable to go, sophomore Michael Schofield will likely start. In other injury news, linebacker Brandon Herron (leg) is completely healthy, Hoke said. Herron has not played since he scored two touchdowns in the season opener against Western Michigan.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @RyanAutullo



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