DeKALB – Northern Illinois football coach Jerry Kill was hospitalized for dehydration early Sunday morning, hours after the Huskies’ home-opening 23-17 win over North Dakota, and is still recovering at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb, according to NIU spokeswoman Donna Turner.
Turner said she was uncertain of when Kill will return to coaching and that the situation is "on the doctors now.”
Kill had surgery for unspecified reasons on Sept. 3, one day after the Huskies’ season-opening loss at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. Turner said Kill's dehydration was the result of a "continuing part of the recovery process" from the surgery.
Kill returned to practice last Monday, three days after surgery, though he was quieter and moving slower than normal. Kill told reporters at his Tuesday press conference of the surgery.
"It's not cancer-related or anything of that nature," said Kill, who had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his kidney in 2005. "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 said at his postgame press conference on Saturday that it’d been “a tough week for Coach Kill.”
It is unclear whether Kill will be available to coach Saturday at Illinois.
Illini coach Ron Zook hadn’t heard of Kill’s health situation before his Sunday afternoon media teleconference but wished the NIU coach well.
“We have a mutual friend that I think the world of, and I know he thinks the world of Coach Kill,” Zook said. “I just hope everything’s OK.
- Jeremy Werner