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Former Gopher football head coach Jerry Kill returns to Southern Illinois as ambassador

Jerry Killy / Wikimedia Commons

Former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill, who recently retired from coaching due to epilepsy, is returning to Southern Illinois as an ambassador and fundraiser for the university.

Kill took the Salukis to five straight Football Championship Subdivision title games and won three straight Gateway Football Conference Championships. He was appointed as special assistant to the Southern Illinois chancellor beginning in mid-March.

"Jerry comes home to SIU with a commitment to moving us forward," chancellor Carlo Montemagno said Tuesday. "He remains highly regarded among SIU fans, alumni and the community for playing perhaps the most significant role in the transformation of the university's football program."

Kill retired from coaching in December as Rutgers' offensive coordinator, citing health concerns.

In 2015, the 56-year-old Kill retired the first time midway through his fifth season as the head coach at Minnesota after battling symptoms of epilepsy, including seizures.

Kill was an associate athletic director for Kansas State in 2016 before returning to coaching as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers for the 2017 season.

Kill was hospitalized in September following a "minor seizure," the day after a sideline collision with an Eastern Michigan player.

Kill served as head coach at Southern Illinois from 2001 to 2007. He won the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award in 2004 and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award in 2007.

"SIU is a special place, and I've always valued the warmth and support of the Southern Illinois community," Kill said. "I'm excited to contribute to the university's future in any way possible. This is a wonderful opportunity to help tell SIU's great story."