Jerry Kill had a jaunty look about him at his formal session with the local media this week. He’s lean, there’s a healthy color in his face and the confident air of someone who knows he’s good at his job.
That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, reporters covering practice noticed a small scratch on Kill’s face.
A year ago, Kill came to the weekly news conference on Sept. 10 with a bandage on his forehead, and soon Kill’s issue with seizures would be the overriding story with Gophers football for six weeks.
This time? Relax, folks.
The scratch came when the head coach joined the parade of people walking into a glass door at the Gophers football building. The minor remodeling of the office area looks spiffy, but the unmarked glass door has been claiming foreheads at the rate of one or two a week.
Rumors from inside the building are that defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys was moved to announce, “Anyone who runs into that door is an idiot.”
Sure enough, the next victim was his boss.
Put aside this obstacle for distracted walkers and the feeling an outsider gets on a visit to the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex could not be more of a contrast than was the case in mid-September 2013.
You don’t want to jinx anything, especially with a steamy afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas, on the docket in one week, but the healthy look of this football program starts with Kill appearing to be on top of his game.
It’s obvious that Kill has taken care of the diet portion of the recommendations received from epilepsy specialists. As far as handing off some responsibilities … well, that’s dang near impossible for a head coach in the Big Ten, but there was at least a symbol that Kill has let go a bit at this week’s media session.