A Tribute to Jerry Kill

Published on 29-Oct-2015 by CJ
Football - NCAA / NCAA Football Daily Opinion

A Tribute to Jerry Kill

It’s a beautiful thing to see people accomplish their dreams.

One of the more satisfying sights in life is to see the smile on somebody’s face who's made it on his own terms.

Conversely, there are few things worse than seeing somebody have their dreams taken away  from them.

Usually, in sports, those can be tthe memory of a moment that they'll be stuck with forever.

But for others, it's the ongoing joy of being where they want to be.

Jerry Kill was living the dream in Minnesota.

Dude transformed a team that had been scraping the Big Ten's bottom for years into a solid football program. There was even talk of the Golden Gophers being a sleeper pick to win the Western Division.

It's a challenging task to turn a football program around, and it's made harder with the health concerns that Kill deals with on a daily basis.

The first of his issues occurred in 2005, when he suffered a seizure during a game. Kill was taken to the hospital, where he was later diagnosed with kidney cancer. Luckily, it went into remission after surgery.

Unluckily, however, Kill’s seizures would later return; he would have incidents in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Kill would take a leave of absence after the seizure in 2013 to focus on dealing with his struggle with epilepsy. Kill, unwilling to give up his dream, returned to the Golden Gophers in 2014. Kill was to win 8 games in 2014, as well as take Minnesota to their first New Year’s Day bowl game since 1962.

Unfortunately, Kill’s seizures have come back worse than ever. On Wednesday, Kill announced that he would be retiring immediately, noting the advice of his doctor.

Kill's retirement presser was quite possibly one of the sadder in recent decades. To see a man have to hold back a sea of tears as he explains his last day at his dream job is tough to watch.

It’s hard enough to have your dreams stolen from you, but it’s got to be unsettling to not know what you're going to do with your life.

No doubt he won't be down for long. As well as bringing back the Minnesota football program, Kill's done a world of good off the football field.

Let Penn State’s Coach James Franklin speech show you how loved Jerry Kill was:

So let’s all share in the wishing of good fortune for Jerry Kill.

A man who deserved a lot better from life.

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