Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RIP, Terry Hoeppner

Indiana University has lost their football coach.

Terry Hoeppner, who has been battling brain cancer, lost the battle this morning at the way-too-young age of 59. Hoeppner had only been the coach at Indiana for slightly more than two years, but players and assitant coaches claim he has left a positive mark on the Hoosier squad. I have to agree with that.

Hoeppner knew the importance of tradition and symbolism, something that had been missing at IU, at least in the football department. He proposed the idea of a large limestone rock to be placed inside Memorial Stadium. It may sound hokey, but that's the type of symbol that rallies teams for years and years.

Think of the sign inside Notre Dame's locker room - "Play like a champion today" - not a player walks out of that locker room without laying a palm on that sign. Of all the traditions that Notre Dame has, that's the one that brings players to the peak of emotion.

Indiana has their symbol, thanks to Hoeppner. It may have taken his sad passing to cement the symbolism of the rock, but it's there now. That's heart-rendering to any true fan of college football.

The thoughts and prayers of The BBC go out to Hoeppner's friends and family.

No comments: