Hoosiers get their man in Hoeppner

The Indiana Hoosiers have a new football coach, after a long 17 day wait for a program without direction. Indiana announced today that Terry Hoeppner would become the next Indiana University head football coach. Hoeppner will replace recently fired coach Gerry DiNardo after three years on the job.

Hoeppner, 57, has spent the last nineteen years at Miami of Ohio, working his way up the coaching ranks to eventually become head coach six years ago. He complied a 48-24 mark, including a 21-5 record during the past two seasons at Miami.

Hoeppner has roots in Indiana, as he grew up just outside of Fort Wayne in Woodburn. He also attended Franklin College for his undergrad and masters degree, and then was their defensive coordinator from 1980-1985. His roots in Indiana and success on the football field are two of the biggest reasons why the Hoosiers wanted Hoeppner.

Indiana defense has been a weakness of the team for the last several years, and Hoeppner will look to improve that weakness. The Hoosiers will have several returning starters for him to work with, and a talented group of redshirt freshmen. The offense will also be a major concern, as the Hoosiers will be looking for a new offensive coordinator after Steve Addazio left to help Urban Meyer down in Florida. There will also be a new quarterback in Bloomington, with Matt LoVechio graduating, but there are plenty of choices for next year's QB.

Hoeppner will face many challenges as the Hoosiers new head coach, but he will have an upper edge in recruiting already. Hoeppner knows the Midwest very well, and has been successful recruiting in the nation's heartland for years. He used to compete with Indiana for recruits, now he can tout his new school to the kids. Indiana will honor all the commitments that were made under head coach Gerry DiNardo, and many kids have indicated that Indiana is where they want to spend their college years.

During the press conference to announce the new coach, Indiana University Athletic Director Rick Greenspan made his expectations of the team clear by bringing out a glass bowl with a rose inside of it. Greenspan said, "It was time to add a Hoosier to Indiana football". He then thanked the committee that helped him find a new coach and introduced Hoeppner.

Hoeppner said that he wants to take IU to the Rose Bowl, and that any goal of less than that is unacceptable. He also spoke of getting students out of the tailgate zone and into the stadium. His intentions are for the team to walk through the tailgate zone before the game and into the stadium. He said the team will also sing the fight song to the student section after wins, in an attempt to get the students out to the game.

He set a series of goals for IU, number one on the list was a 100% graduation rate. The only senior not to graduate under Hoeppner at Miami was QB Ben Rothlisberger who will be completely his degree in the offseason. He also set the goal of being a champion on the field and off, and getting involved in the community.

Hoeppner will coach Miami in their bowl game December 28th against Iowa State in the Independence Bowl. He also said that he will meet with the current Indiana staff before making any decisions, but that he will be bringing some of his staff to ease the learning curve.

In regards to recruiting, Hoeppner will look to hit the trail hard. Letters have already been sent to all Hoosier verbal commitments affirming Indiana's position with them, and all have been asked to attend. He mentioned that he will hit the road hard on Jan 2nd and have a month to fill in the remaining nine scholarships. When asked what type of recruits he was looking for, Hoeppner responded, "I'm gonna recruit guys with character who can run fast". The quiet period beings on Sunday, so Hoeppner and the assistant coaches will have a lot of phone calls to make in the next few hours.

He also mentioned that Hoosiers will now have a spread offense with multiple sets. He wants to pressure the opposing defense and control the ball through balance. On defense he will be focusing on stopping the run by crowding the line of scrimmage.

Indiana got their man in Terry Hoeppner, and will look to have their first winning season in over 10 years under their new head coach. Only time will now tell the tail of the Hoosier football program, but things are off to a good start

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