MINNEAPOLIS — Former Gopher linebackers coach Mike Sherels accepted a $1 million settlement earlier this year related to a routine visit to a University of Minnesota hospital in 2016 that nearly killed him.
The university disclosed the May settlement on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in response to a St. Paul Pioneer Press records request.
“It is understood and agreed that this Full and Final Release of All Claims represents a compromise of a disputed claim, that receipt of the foregoing amount does not provide Michael Sherels a full recovery, and that such payment is not intended to be an admission of liability on the part of the Regents of the University of Minnesota,” the settlement read, in part.
Sherels, 33, who was named captain after walking onto the school's football team in 2003, joined the coaching staff in 2014. The Rochester native was considered a key recruiter for the team under head coaches Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys.
The school said in August 2016 that Sherels had been hospitalized for a “minor” medical procedure.
But Sherels had an allergic reaction after he was tested for blood in his stool, WCCO-TV reported. Doctors ended up removing much of his intestines, and he was unconscious and on life support for five days.
Sherels returned to coach the Oct. 8, 2016, home game against Iowa.
He had another surgery after the season that enabled him to start eating again. But his shortened digestive system left him unable to absorb enough nutrition, so he was receiving supplemental nutrition for hours every night, WCCO-TV reported.
Many of Claeys’ assistant coaches left the program and received the same compensation they’d have earned had they been retained.
Sherels, who was asked to stay on during the brief transition from Claeys to the next head coach, later went on medical leave. He continued receiving his $250,000 salary but never returned to the team under Fleck. His employment ended April 1, 2018, a university spokesman said.
“Considering everything that I’ve been through, I’m doing pretty darn well, and I can’t complain too much,” Sherels said in May 2017. “I’m happy to be here and excited to see what the future holds.”
Sherels did not return phone messages Tuesday and Wednesday.