While not the worst news possible, it's still bad news. Terry Hoeppner will not coach IU in 2007, and Bill Lynch will be the head coach this coming season. I'm in between work and a family function, so I don't have time to consume much media. I don't know if Mrs. Hoeppner was present at the press conference or why she, rather than Hep, made the statement. I hope it isn't as it looks, and I hope Hep is back to lead the team through the tunnel at the expanded Memorial Stadium in September 2008. In any event, at least we now know how to picture the 2007 season. Bill Lynch, despite a less than stellar record as a I-A (er, Bowl Division) head coach and an 0-2 record as an interim coach last year, is respected in the football world and has been a trusted confidant to Hep and Bill Mallory, IU's two finest coaches of the last quarter century. For now, that's good enough for me. This team isn't going to go 12-0, but for the first time in my recollection, I wouldn't be shocked by a win in any single game. Hep or no Hep, we can go bowling, and there wouldn't be a better tribute.
The release does not describe Lynch as the interim coach. As a practical matter, he is, but it would appear that he is "Indiana football coach Bill Lynch." Despite the non-application of the interim label, expect many articles discussing whether Lynch has done enough to remove the interim tag or some such thing.
I'll have a look at Lynch's record in the next couple of days.