Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys talk about how they've stayed the course
When it comes to facing adverse circumstances throughout the course of this season, it can be argued that no program has seen a rockier road than Minnesota.
As we're all well aware of, early in September Jerry Kill suffered a seizure while coaching against New Mexico State, which has temporarily sidelined him and forced him to watch games from the press box over the next few weeks. Moments after leaving the field on a stretcher, Tracy Claeys was placed in the driver seat and has spent the past few weeks as the acting head coach.
Despite those adverse circumstances, the Golden Gophers are sitting at 8-2 and in a battle with Michigan State and Nebraska for the Legends Division title. That would not be possible if it weren't for the continuity of the coaching staff.
The Minnesota staff is one of 18 schools that return all nine assistants from last season, and are one of only two programs in the country that have had the same nine assistants for three straight years (the other being Northwestern). Kill's nine assistants, plus head strength coach Eric Klein have worked under Kill for a combined 124 years, by far most in the country. That kind of continuity is unheard of in the coaching profession, and is a major part of the recipe for Minnesota's success as coach Kill has had to take on a lesser role as he continues to try to get his health back on track.
Here, in this feature from ESPN, Claeys and Kill talk about their coaching styles and how they are both alike and very different, and how they're able to work so well as a staff under some very trying circumstances.