Rick Reilly on Jerry Kill

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
3:41
PM ET
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill opens up about dealing with his epileptic seizures to ESPN.com columnist Rick Reilly:

It should take you about three minutes to read this.

That's how long the worst of Jerry Kill's epileptic seizures last -- arms and legs spasming, eyes rolling up, jaw clenching.

Imagine that for these three minutes. Imagine every muscle of your body firing out of control and there's nothing you can do about it.

"You feel like you were in a car wreck afterwards," says Kill, the University of Minnesota football coach. "I've never seen a seizure. And I don't want to see one."

But 50,000-plus fans, and a regional television audience, did see one on Sept. 10, 2011, when Kill went down with seconds to go in a home loss to New Mexico State, Kill's home debut for the Golden Gophers.

As he lay there, the only sound you could hear were his two daughters -- and some of his players -- crying.

"I don't feel bad for me," says Kill, soon to be 52. "I feel bad for my wife, my kids and the people who have to watch it. ... You wake up and find out 50,000 people watched you. It's kind of embarrassing."

Kill says he thinks he's had more than 20 seizures in the last two years, and he's no longer allowed to drive. But thanks to some help from the Mayo Clinic, he thinks he has his disorder under control.
"I got two goals in life," he says. "Just two. One is to see all the people in the state of Minnesota proud of their Minnesota Gophers football program again. And two is to drive again. I just want to drive my truck, my elbow out the window, listening to country music."

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