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Tuesday June 19, 2007 5:30 pm

Hoosiers coach Terry Hoeppner dies due to tumor

Normally I’ll make jokes and poke fun at what’s going on, but a few stories deserve to be handled with respect and dignity, and this is one of those.

Earlier today, Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner died due to complications from a brain tumor. He was 59. Coach Hoeppner didn’t have a stellar career at Indiana (9-14), and since he was hired in 2004 as the new coach for the Hoosiers after a successful six years as the head coach at Miami (Ohio) (57-39), many fans were upset at what appeared to be a true lack of progress for the program. Over the past 18 months, however, Coach Hoeppner had begun treatment to battle a tumor found in his brain.

Read More | ESPN

In December 2005, doctor’s removed a growth from his right temple; the following September, scans showed another growth in the same area. Following a second surgery, Hoeppner told the press and players that what had been removed the second time was only scar tissue, and there was no real danger. This March, he announced he was taking time off to regain his energy.

Coach Hoeppner’s death has touched many at the university, and former players, fellow coaches, and others have expressed regret at the loss, and given their best wishes to his family and friends.

“Coach Hoeppner has inspired me to be who I am today,” said Ben Roethlisberger, who played for Hoeppner at Miami. “He has been a second father, a teacher and a friend. He believed in me and I owe everything to him for where I am in life.”

“Terry’s fight was courageous and will serve as an inspiration to those who have known him,” Indiana AD Rick Greenspan released in the statement earlier today. “This is a truly sad day for our community and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Hoeppner family and to those whose lives he has touched.”

In one of the rare moments where even rivals can come together to celebrate and honor a great man, even Purdue’s coach Joe Tiller expressed his sentiments about Hoeppner. “I know Hep was a fierce competitor, and he battled an unforgiving disease. We hope his family finds comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain and is in a much better place.”



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