Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Terry Hoeppner, Dead at the age of 59

Former Miami RedHawks head football coach Terry Hoeppner passed away this morning in a Bloomington, IN hospital of complications from brain cancer. He was 59. This is incredibly sad news for the whole college football world, especially Indiana, where he was just starting to turn that team around. It also hits close to home here at TSE, as Hoeppner coached through the wonderful 2003 season at Miami, with a 13-1 record, a MAC championship and a GMAC Bowl win over Louisville, all with Ben Roethlisberger taking snaps. The Indianapolis Star has the updating story.

As a Miami student, I am stunned by the sad news of the day and I wish nothing but the best to his family, the Indiana University football community and anyone lucky enough to meet, work with or see Hep coach. I will always remember Hep getting the Gatorade shower after beating Bowling Green for the MAC Championship and later after trampling Louisville in the GMAC Bowl. Those were great times for the program and for the Coach. The next year, when he announced that he was going to IU and handing the reigns to Shane Montgomery, he seemed very proud of not only what he accomplished at Miami, but also what was in store for him at IU.

As a sports fan, death's like this always confound me. I knew of Hep as a football coach whose family wore pads and got together every Saturday. But he had a life outside of Miami and IU. And for as difficult as this must be for the Indiana football community, it must be innumerably more difficult for Hep's real family, his friends and his colleagues. Hep's death transcends football in that way, and means so much more on the whole. Though I never met Coach Hoeppner, I know that the man touched many lives inside and out of football and one can only hope that those people remember Hep for all the good that he did, football-related or otherwise.

Again, TSE's thoughts and prayers are with the family today.

1 comment:

Paul Teeple said...

Through the rivalry and all the ass-kickings Hep's teams handed the Bobcats, the OU family extends its condolences to the Hoeppner family as well as the IU & MU communities.