Reactions to the retirement of Minnesota coach Jerry Kill

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Reactions to the retirement of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill, due to the drain of managing epilepsy and the demands of his job:

”I’ve given every ounce that I have for 32 years to the game of football and the kids I’ve been able to coach. I’ve never stole from anybody. I’m not going to steal now.” – Kill, at his tearful farewell news conference.

”It motivates me a lot. Motivates me a lot. I’d do anything for that guy. He’s done so much for me and my family, and I want to play as hard as I possibly can the rest of the season. I know the rest of the guys here do too. Out there at practice today, the way we rallied around each other for coach Kill is unbelievable. You can just feel it, feel it in the air. People are going to playing hard for him.” – Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner.

”For all the players, he’s definitely still in the back of our minds. His presence is still missed. Can’t really shake it.” – Minnesota cornerback Eric Murray.

”It’s kind of like getting kicked in the gut.” – Minnesota interim coach Tracy Claeys.

”What a tremendous example he is, not only for the 125 guys that get to work with him on a day-to-day basis, but for all of us who have the privilege to stand alongside him and certainly those who have supported him throughout the state of Minnesota. What he’s demonstrated today is just the utmost courage and respect for the university. He is a man of unbelievable character, strength, he supports everyone around him, and he has set a tremendous example about what it means to be passionate, going after your dreams, to be fully committed to anything and everything you do. The impact he made on those young men, not just here at Minnesota but throughout his career, is incredible. He’s made them better men. We’ve seen that first hand at Minnesota.” – Minnesota interim athletic director Beth Goetz.

”There is not a more genuine guy than Jerry Kill. He’s unvarnished, is the word Beth used. He is genuine and very connected with people from all walks of life in Minnesota because he is who he is, and people see that.” – Minnesota President Eric Kaler.

”It’s tough for me. I know a lot of guys are having trouble with it, but you’ve got to take time to get healthy.” – former Minnesota wide receiver Isaac Fruechte, now on the practice squad with the Minnesota Vikings.

”It’s unfortunate, but for someone who’s spent his whole life doing everything for everyone around him, I guess I’m just happy that he gets to do what’s best for him.” – former Minnesota safety Brock Vereen, now on the practice squad with the Minnesota Vikings.

”I’m glad that he had the fortitude to be able to do it when he felt like he was ready to do it or needed to do it. And we’re all going to miss him in the Twin Cities and I’m sure all of the U of M faithful will miss him as well. He’s an awfully good football coach. He’s got that program going in the right way.” – Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

”Coach Kill is an incredible man, and I would have loved to play under his direction. But we committed to a staff and to a team.” – Minnesota recruit Carter Coughlin, a linebacker from Eden Prairie High School in the Twin Cities area, on Twitter.

”Love and appreciate coach Kill. Gave me an opportunity 2 get an education and play 4 a prestigious university. Couldn’t help but cry today.” – Minnesota running back Rodney Smith, on Twitter.

”A man who gave me a chance. Much love and respect for Coach Kill! His true victories were off the field, impacting the lives of many.” – Minnesota kicker Ryan Santoso, on Twitter.

”People don’t know what this man means to me. He was my father when my own couldn’t be. My heart hurts right now.” – Minnesota defensive end Gaelin Elmore, on Twitter.

”I didn’t have to stay in Minnesota. Coach Kill got me to stay and said he would take care of me. Now I work for a Fortune 500 company.” – former Minnesota wide receiver Logan Hutton, on Twitter.

”Forever grateful. Thank you coach!” – former Minnesota running back David Cobb, now with the Tennessee Titans, on Twitter.

”Coach Kill. A great coach but a better man. Love ya Coach.” – Illinois interim coach Bill Cubit, on Twitter.

”I’m deeply saddened by Coach Kill’s resignation. I thank him for his leadership in rebuilding the University of Minnesota’s football program. All Minnesotans join me in wishing the coach and his family many years of continuing success and fulfillment.” – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, in a prepared statement.