The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 15, 2014

Latest: Hoffner decides to return to Minnesota State (VIDEO)

MINNEAPOLIS — Fighting back tears and taking several breaks to regain his composure, former Minnesota State University head football coach Todd Hoffner announced he will return to his coaching position in Mankato.

Hoffner, 47, who said he made his decision right before Tuesday's news conference, said he is going to resume his duties Wednesday in Mankato.

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Last week an arbitrator ruled that Minnesota State was wrong to suspend, reassign and finally fire Hoffner.

Hoffner, at his attorneys' office in Minneapolis, said he believes returning to Mankato and coaching football will help him "heal the injury." He said he is "not interested in revenge, and I'm not a spiteful person."

Two of Hoffner's attorneys, Chris Madel and Jim Fleming, weren't as forgiving. Madel said he wants a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system investigation and, if possible, an inquiry by state legislators. Madel also said Hoffner is considering filing a lawsuit against the university.

"Why were we spending our resources, our tax dollars on this?" Madel asked. "In our view there are violations that happened to the Hoffners outside the union contract, legal violations."

Madel said the Hoffners were thrust into the situation that included criminal child pornography charges against Todd Hoffner that were dismissed. "This was a tidal wave that fell on them. Todd has had one of the most trying experiences anyone can have. It's unfair that this guy has to sit here and get emotional in front of this many cameras."

Fleming wants Blue Earth County Attorney Ross Arneson held accountable for the decision to pursue criminal charges.

"Who's accountable, most accountable here, is the county attorney," Fleming said. "I think in cases like these the remedy is an election and that's coming up in the fall."

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