Hoeppner Did Things His Way

Late Indiana coach brought sense of excitement to Hoosiers

June 19, 2007



TREV ALBERTS

Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com

 

The one thing I'll remember about Terry Hoeppner was his ability to create excitement. I did a couple of Miami University games and going down to Oxford you could just sense the excitement as you entered campus. Of course, it helped they had Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, but I just remember being struck by Hoeppner's energy and enthusiasm. He believed in what he was doing, and that's why he became the Indiana coach.

 

Hoeppner didn't care that everybody told him he couldn't win at Indiana. He made decisions that were best for him, unconventional decisions. He didn't care. He was always a little different and did things his own way. I remember when he took the Indiana job, and as he sat at the podium he had a rose. Obviously the understanding was his attempt to get Indiana to the Rose Bowl. A lot of people snickered at that, and certainly the Hoosiers didn't get to the Rose Bowl in his short tenure there, but it was the renewed sense of excitement that he brought that really mattered.


 

 

 

The thing I most admired about Hoeppner was that he was probably one of those guys who was told what he couldn't accomplish throughout his life and just didn't listen to those things. He kept fighting and believed in what he believed in and was extremely successful for it.  

 

The sad thing is we won't get to see the culmination of his work at Indiana. He was part of this tree that coached at Miami University, the Cradle of Coaches, and we didn't get to see the final act. It was only a matter of time before Indiana legitimately had a chance to start winning.

 

It's a sad day for the Hoeppner family because they've lost a pretty special person, and I can't speak to that, but from a football prospective I think it's obviously a huge loss for Indiana. Bill Lynch, who used to be the coach at Ball State, will fill in - and he's a good man and he'll do a nice job - but he's not coach Hoep.

 

It's a huge loss for college football. He did things the right way. He wasn't in it to create a name for himself, but to affect the lives of young men, and those types of coaches are getting tough to find these days.