Hoeppner: “I shall return”

One of our two IU football stories from today’s paper:

By Doug Wilson
331-4353 | dwilson@heraldt.com
November 22, 2006

Terry Hoeppner doesn’t expect any medical problems to get in the way of coaching the Hoosiers next year, he said Tuesday.

Hoeppner said during his final weekly press conference of the year that in some ways the 2006 season was a roller coaster ride for him, but in other ways it was uplifting.

Having to leave the team temporarily because of brain surgery brought his family closer together, Hoeppner said, and resulted in hundreds of people contacting him to wish him well and say that his story had inspired them.

“In some ways it’s been whatever the opposite of a roller coaster is — very calming and smooth,” Hoeppner said.

Hoeppner said he managed this year to avoid getting too carried away with big wins or too disconsolate about losses.

The second-year Hoosier coach was asked whether he thinks his health issues are behind him.

“Where are you going to be in 10 days?” he responded.

Then he talked about his memories of the legendary Bo Schembechler, who spent part of his head coaching career at Miami like Hoeppner, and who died last week.

Hoeppner said he mentioned Schembechler and former Miami and Northwestern coach Randy Walker, who died in June, to Purdue coach Joe Tiller Saturday when Tiller asked how Hoeppner was feeling. Hoeppner said he told Tiller he feels great.

“No restrictions, clean bill of health,” Hoeppner said. “I will return next year and as long as they’ll keep me around here, within reason, now. I’m not going to try to break Joe Paterno’s longevity record for coaching.”

Hoeppner quoted General Douglas MacArthur in vowing, “I shall return.”