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Archive for Friday, October 28, 2005

SIU coach touched by support

October 28, 2005

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— Southern Illinois coach Jerry Kill says he doesn't remember the seizure that caused him to collapse and convulse during a game nearly two weeks ago -- or the six other seizures he suffered in the days after.

But the 44-year-old coach, back on the sidelines after being released from the hospital last week, said he embraces all the support he's gotten from his players, family and friends since then. And he's confident he now has the right medicine to handle the unspecified condition, which occasionally manifests itself with seizures but is not considered life-threatening.

Kill has declined to detail that health issue, telling Southern's athletic director Paul Kowalczyk simply that "the brain is misfiring once in a while."

"Life's very precious. I enjoy life," Kill told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week after a practice session with the Salukis (5-2, 3-1 Gateway) ahead of their game Thursday night at Western Kentucky, ranked No. 1 in Division I-AA. "I figure I'm ornery enough that the good Lord isn't ready for me, anyway.

"It doesn't matter if we win another damned game or not. What matters is I think we've got a unique bunch of kids and coaches who truly care about one another."

After collapsing during the closing seconds of Southern's 61-35 home loss Oct. 15 to Illinois State, Kill said he doesn't remember his wife scurrying to his side and telling him, "I love you." He doesn't recall the opposing coach assembling players from both teams to take a knee and each other's hands to pray as Kill was loaded into an ambulance.

Kill also doesn't remember his half-dozen other seizures in the days afterward, or how he suffered what he believes are two broken ribs in the process.

Kill was on the sidelines during the Salukis' 42-20 victory last Saturday at Indiana State but served largely as an adviser, a day after being released from the hospital.

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