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Jerry Kill turns down Minnesota's offer to be speaker, teacher

Former Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill said Wednesday he turned down an opportunity to remain with the university, instead wanting to focus on working in athletics.

In an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kill said he was asked by school president Eric Kaler to serve in a speaking, teaching and fundraising role.

"I want to be involved with athletics," Kill, 54, told the newspaper. "I've been involved with athletics my whole life, and I want to be around the kids more than anything."

Kill said he was not offered a position in athletics.

"I understand that," he told the Star Tribune, "but that was the deal-breaker for me."

Kill retired as coach Oct. 28 because of increasing concern about his health. He has dealt with the effects of epilepsy, including seizures, since 2005. His condition caused him to miss a portion of the Golden Gophers' season in 2014.

Kill told the Star Tribune that the parting was cordial.

"I love the university," he said. "I'll always be a Gopher. If the university needs my help, I'm a phone call away."