Jerry Kill announced his retirement as the head football coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday due to medical concerns with seizures.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer expressed his respect for the 54-year-old during his weekly press conference.
"It's disappointing to have another great coach that you respect the things he's done to retire," Zimmer said. "But, in the same token I'm glad that he had the fortitude to do it when he was ready to do it and needed to do it."
Zimmer had never met Kill until after he took the job with the Vikings in 2014, but he was very familiar with Kill's success.
"I know his background, his track record and the things he did at Northern Illinios," Zimmer said. "But it's his personality as well. He's a little like me I guess. The steps he had to take to be where he is right now I'm sure it was hard to make that decision since the University of Minnesota was a dream for him, but he's got it going the right way."
Kill spent four-plus seasonsons as head coach of the Gophers, leading the program to three consecutive bowl games.
"We're all going to miss him in the Twin Cities and I'm sure all the UM faithful will miss him as well," Zimmer said. "He's an awful good football coach and he's got that football program going in the right way."
Zimmer went on to describe what he and all head coaches go through during a season and how hard it must have been to step away from a lifelong dream.
"This is always a grind," Zimmer said. "At least for me, now I know everybody's personalities are different. But you put (your) heart and soul, every minute that you have into one week and trying to win a football game. There's not one minute that goes by that you're not thinking about it."
Three former Minnesota Golden Gophers on the Vikings Isaac Fruechte, Brock Vereen and Marcus Sherels gave their thoughts on the news of Jerry Kill's retirement on Wednesday.