From Tom Archdeacon of the Dayton Daily News, some wonderful anecdotes from Hep's days as a "Yankee" high school football coach in South Carolina:
He was called "The Yankee Coach" and before the season, he said one booster, looking over the many black players, asked: "Coach, how many white boys we got on the team?" Hoeppner shrugged: "I have no idea. When everybody puts on those blue helmets, I can't tell." For someone, that was the wrong answer. Two weeks later, the school burned down after an arsonist poured gasoline in the coach's office and lit a match. But Hoeppner didn't melt, and by the third year, he said he had believers: "We ended up 8-2 and what made it special was that after such a horrible beginning, they needed what I had to offer."
Pat Forde of ESPN.com had this to say:
It will be a challenge for the Indiana players to sustain that momentum after this tragic loss. It will be a challenge for interim coach Bill Lynch -- a former head coach at Ball State from 1995 to 2002 -- to sustain Hoeppner's grand plans and great enthusiasm. If ever there were a schedule tailored for a breakthrough season, this is it. The Hoosiers play neither Ohio State nor Michigan, and could go undefeated against a nonconference schedule of Indiana State, Western Michigan, Akron and Ball State. In fact, IU has a shot at a 4-0 start for the first time since 1990. The Hoosiers certainly have a memory to rally around. But inspiration can be fleeting, and it's a safe bet that Indiana will miss Terry Hoeppner badly -- this year and for several years beyond. He was the rare right fit at a school that rarely gets it right in football.
This AP article looks at the loss from a Miami perspective. The Cradle of Coaches has lost three former leaders in the last year Hep, Randy Walker, and Bo Schembechler.
Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel agrees with me:
Let’s not waste any time. You know that soon-to-be-built Memorial Stadium north end zone facility that has the sleep-inducing early tag of Hoosier Education and Performance Center? Name it after Terry Hoeppner. Call it the Hep Center for short, and move on to bigger things.Indiana University athletic director Rick Greenspan says he likes the idea of naming the $25 million addition after the former football coach, but it’s too early to make a definitive decision. So wait a day, and then make it.