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(Associated Press) New Minnesota Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill exhorted his players during the first day of spring practice March 24 at Bierman Field in Minneapolis. At left is running back Donnell Kirkwood.

Cancer survivor Kill begins new journey at Minnesota

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Nearly six years removed from a battle with kidney cancer, Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill is in good health and starting a new job in the Big Ten.

"I'm cancer-free," the first-year Gophers coach said Friday at the second and final Big Ten media day. "I don't know if you ever win that battle, but I am coaching and I'm blessed to do that."

Diagnosed with kidney cancer in late 2005 while at Southern Illinois, Kill underwent surgery and follow-up treatment.

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