Archive for Thursday, November 25, 2010

KU’s Gill thankful for job, health

Coaching: ‘I don’t even really call it a job’

November 25, 2010


A 3-8 first season hasn’t dampened Kansas University football coach Turner Gill’s spirits so much to have obscured the big picture.

Today, on Thanksgiving, Gill, like so many others, will step away from his preparation for this week’s Border War showdown with Missouri — 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. — to remember a few things that have helped him get where he is today.

“I’m thankful for my health, I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be at the University of Kansas,” Gill said. “It’s a great university, and I’m thankful for all of the support. More importantly, I love my job. I don’t even really call it a job. I just enjoy working with young people and teaching them about the game of football.”

Even though Thanksgiving is a day for family, Gill will do more than his share of prep work for Saturday. That’s most likely to come when other members of the Gill family are preparing the Turkey Day feast. See, the first-year KU coach doesn’t dare enter the kitchen when the magic is happening.

“I do dishes,” Gill said. “You don’t want me doing anything else. I can’t even boil water, man.”

While Gill plans to mix in some family time with his football responsibilities, his players will be given the opportunity to enjoy the holiday.

“They’re going to end up going with their families,” Gill said. “Those that may not have the opportunities to (do that), some of the coaches will have over. I guess in the past, a lot of the players within this area have invited a lot of the players from out of state into their homes so I think that’s even better. But they’ll be taken care of, eating a lot of turkey and dressing and ham and all that good stuff.”

Junior tight end A.J. Steward, who hails from St. Louis and was still deciding whether or not he would make the trek home, said he was only sure of one thing this Thanksgiving — good food.

“I am probably going to go home,” Steward said. “I live only four hours away, but if I don’t make it home, I will just go to one of my teammates’ houses. I plan on having a good meal either way.”

Marshall back in action

As people everywhere celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey, pie, football and naps, KU sophomore D.J. Marshall will celebrate being thankful to be alive.

Last fall, Marshall, a defensive end from Mesquite, Texas, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, and in November he began the fight of his life.

From the very beginning, Marshall remained positive that football once again would have a place in his life.

“I am very thankful for the support that I’ve received from my family, my teammates and coaches, and from our medical staff,” Marshall said in a release last November. “I am going to beat this disease with their help and my hard work. I can’t wait to get back on the field.”

That day came Tuesday, when, after numerous trips in and out of the hospital and several different types of treatments, Marshall suited up in full pads for the first time in more than a year.

“It’s been an inspiration for everybody to know that you have hope,” Gill said of Marshall’s impact on the teeam. “You don’t ever give up, you always get back up and keep going again. You keep believing. You have faith. You have faith in your doctors, you have faith in your family, you have faith in your teammates, you have faith in your coaches. He’s demonstrated that.”

And it’s paying off. Though Marshall has eased back into football drills slowly, Gill said a few weeks ago that the 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive lineman officially was “cancer-free” and he expected him to be available for spring drills four months from now.

“I’m excited for him,” Gill said. “I know he’s excited about it. And he’s looking forward to moving on to the future. Obviously, there’s been a lot of not-so-good days for him. But how he’s been able to learn from the past and move on for the future, he’s a great example of a person you want to be around.”


TLR 7 years, 3 months ago

I have to agree with Gill-maybe that's part of his problem. Personally, I think he is in over his head. I will be Thankful when he's gone.

oldvet 7 years, 3 months ago

" I don’t even really call it a job."

I few more 3-8 seasons and he won't be calling this one a job...

I was in school here during Jack Mitchell's last season and the KU radio station played requests in the afternoon... near the end of the season it was non-stop, back-to-back "Hit The Road, Jack"... maybe somebody can dub it to be "Hit The Road, Gill"...

Mo Meza 7 years, 3 months ago

It seems to me that you need to be realistic and optimistic as well. You keep forgetting that coach Gill and his staff are new to the players that are trying to learn a new system. Look, we have seem some imrpovement and to me it is obvious that coach Gill and his coaching staff can do the job of turning around the football program. Look again and see how soon football programs start getting good after a change in coaching staff. Coach Gill and his staff need time and the support from the KU fans. Let's see how coach Gill and his staff continue doing in the recruiting and coaching and then let's see what is the result. But for now, let's help them with our support for them to turn around the KU Football Program. In the mean time, Happy Thanksgiving to coach Gill and his coaching staff and families and student athlets and to you all. Enjoy the holidays.

50YearResident 7 years, 3 months ago

Coaching: ‘I don’t even really call it a job’

There in, lies the problem.

Jock Navels 7 years, 3 months ago

you don't know what you got, till it's gone...

Richard Payton 7 years, 3 months ago

I enjoy a season that didn't have the KU Football team and Basketball team fighting each other. I enjoy a coach that takes an interest in his players. Gill has taken more criticism than most first year coaches but hasn't lashed out at fans. The complainers will love Gill when the Jayhawks start winning again! Give Gill and his staff a thumbs up for a new era in KU Football in which winning will be the tradition.

oldvet 7 years, 3 months ago

Beginning next year Gill draws all 9 of the remaining Big-12 teams, with only three patsies to schedule at the beginning of each season... Gill will never coach KU in a bowl game before he is fired...

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