ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It was the announcement that rocked the Big Ten conference and the state of Minnesota on Wednesday.
Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill announced that he will retire from coaching effectively immediately due to health concerns. U-M is set to battle Minnesota for the Golden Jug on Saturday.
U-M tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh himself was shocked at the sudden announcement from Kill.
"Sad, I figured it was something that had to have been pretty serious," Harbaugh said. "You never want to hear anything like that. You know he has the background of the certain health issues so you just hope and pray that he gets healthy and that his family deals with everything all righ because it's a serious thing."
Secondary coach Greg Jackson shared his condolences but, at the same time, still states the fact that the Wolverines still have a game to play and business to do on Saturday night.
"Sorry for Minnesota but we will play Saturday," Jackson said. "One thing we're focused on is winning the football game and playing great defense."
It's not a secret that a head coach, including assistants, comes with a high-stress level. Late nights that include recruiting, opponent scouting and managing a roster of student athletes, it's not for the faint of heart. Harbaugh is aware of the stresses that come with the territory of coaching football at the collegiate level and admits that he hasn't done a very good job of balancing stress and health yet. Even going as far as saying he ate a donut that morning.
However, Harbaugh says that the people around him makes his worklife easier as well.
"I think a lot of it has to do with your work environment," Harbaugh said. "The guys we work with are serious about football but they're lighthearted guys. So it's fun, it's loose and serious at the same time, if that makes any sense. I'm not a doctor but I'd imagine that is helpful over the longterm of not developing hypertension or something.
"I should probably stop eating donuts, too."