Minnesota's Kill steps away for treatment

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Updated: 10/10/2013 6:36 pm

Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill is taking time away from the team to focus on his epilepsy treatment, Golden Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague announced Thursday.

Kill suffered his fifth seizure-related episode since taking the job at Minnesota in 2011 prior to the team's Oct. 5 loss at Michigan.

"My wife Rebecca, myself and our two daughters want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns during the last few weeks," Kill said in statement. "This was a difficult decision to make, but the right decision. Every decision that will be made will be in the best interest of the players and the program. I look forward to returning to the Minnesota sideline on a full-time basis soon."

Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys served as Minnesota's acting head coach against Michigan and will continue in that role while Kill is away.

"Coach Kill is taking time to continue treatment and focus on managing his epilepsy," Teague said. "Tracy Claeys will serve as the interim head coach until coach Kill is ready to return. Coach Kill will remain in very close contact with the team and his staff and provide direction and support as needed. Our support for coach Kill is unwavering and we look forward to his return to full-time coaching duties."

Kill, 52, had a seizure during a Sept. 14 game against Western Illinois. He also suffered a seizure in the locker room at halftime of last year's season finale against Michigan State. Two seasons ago, the coach was carted off the field after having a seizure near the end of a loss to New Mexico State.

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