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NIU coach Kill transferred to Northwestern Memorial; in fair condition

Published: Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010 1:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010 2:44 p.m. CDT
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(Beck Diefenbach – bdiefenbach@daily-chronicle.com)
Northern Illinois football coach Jerry Kill was hospitalized Sunday morning for dehydration.

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University football coach Jerry Kill has been transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hopsital in Chicago, NIU spokeswoman Donna Turner said Monday.

Kill was admitted to Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb on Sunday morning after suffering from dehydration before being transferred to Northwestern Memorial. As of 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Kill was listed in fair condition, according to a Northwestern Memorial spokeswoman.

Fair condition is described as "vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable," by the American Hospital Association.

"We are monitoring Coach Kill's health situation," NIU President John Peters said. "He is receiving the highest of medical care available. We extend to Coach Kill our best wishes for a speedy recovery and are looking forward to his return to the sidelines."

Turner said it is unclear whether Kill will coach Saturday when NIU travels to Champaign to play Illinois.

"We're still several days away from (knowing) that," Turner said.

NIU defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys substituted for Kill during Monday's Mid-American Conference coaches teleconference.

"Everybody's fine as far as the coaching and team," Claeys said. "We've had to deal with it before (when Kill was treated for kidney cancer at Southern Illinois in 2005), so that's not an issue in our opinion for how structured of an environment we have here. That part's good. He's just under some observation, doing some tests. Hopefully, we'll know more here in the next 24 to 48 hours.

"We'd love to have him back and hope he's back. If not, we're prepared to go down that road."

Claeys and offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover will take Kill's place at Tuesday's weekly team press conference.

Kill also missed last week's MAC teleconference as he recovered from a Sept. 3 surgery, though the reason for the surgery has been kept private.

Kill returned to practice Sept. 6, three days after surgery, though he was quieter and moving slower than normal. Kill told reporters of the surgery at last Tuesday's press conference.

"It's not cancer-related or anything of that nature," Kill said last week. "It is what it is. I had to deal with something that I didn't have a choice but to get in. I went in on Friday and was out on Saturday. I'm just moving rather slowly."

Kill received support Monday during the MAC teleconference.

"He's not only a great coach but he's an awesome, awesome person," Eastern Michigan coach Ron English said. "So our prayers go out for him."

Added Ball State coach Stan Parrish: "My best to him. He's a great friend."

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