Jerry was diagnosed with the rare disease kidney cancer during his tenure at Southern Illinois University. Jerry started Coach Kill Cancer Fund to assist low-income Southern Illinois residents with medical costs because of cancer or other childhood diseases.

He established the Kill Cancer Fund in 2006 because he said he didn’t want his legacy to be what he accomplished on the field. He wants to continue to inspire people battling cancer.

Jerry left SIU after that season and became the head coach at Northern Illinois before moving on to become the University of Minnesota head coach in 2010.