Kill remains in hospital

By Gus Bode

SIU football coach Jerry Kill is awaiting a release date from doctors while he remains listed in stable condition Monday night at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, said Tom Weber, SIU’s sports information director.

The 45-year-old Kill collapsed Sunday morning after taping his weekly coach’s show at WSIL-TV studios in Carterville. Hours before the incident, the Salukis lost Saturday night at home, 27-24, to Western Kentucky University.

“The doctors decided he should stay overnight again,” Weber said. “It’s not anything to be alarmed about or concerned with.

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“You always want to get him out as quick as possible.”

Kill suffered his first seizure at SIU in November 2001 after a loss to Missouri State University. About a year ago, Kill endured another seizure, which occurred on the sidelines of McAndrew Stadium in the waning moments of SIU’s 61-35 loss to Illinois State University.

One week after the Illinois State loss, Kill was back on the sidelines in a game at Indiana State.

Mario Moccia, SIU’s athletic director, said Kill’s swift return to the field last year speaks volumes about what type of person he is.

“I think Coach epitomizes hard work in the region,” Moccia said. “I don’t expect anything different. My focus is his health and getting him healthy.”

Kill continued to coach the Salukis to a 9-4 record and their first playoff game in 22 years. In January after the season, Kill had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from one of his kidneys.

Kill is widely credited for turning around a program that was in 2001 a lowly Division I-AA squad to a team that has been ranked in the top 10 nationally the past four years.

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The Salukis (5-2, 2-2 Gateway) play at Missouri State on Saturday. Weber said defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will be the acting head coach until Kill’s return.

“This program has been involved with something like this before,” Moccia said. “It’s a time to rally around each other, rally around Coach’s family. It brings folks closer together.”

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