The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

April 12, 2014

Two MSUs waiting to learn HOFFNER'S FUTURE

Booster says he thinks coach might take old job back

As of now, Todd Hoffner is the head football coach at Minot State University.

“Until we've been told something different, he's our coach,” said Michael Linnell, sports information director at the North Dakota school. “He's on campus. I talked to him not too long ago. He been with his assistant coaches and at spring workouts.”

However, he added, Tuesday is the day folks at Minot State — and Minnesota State — are waiting for to see which sideline Hoffner will be on next season.

Hoffner has a press conference scheduled for that day at a law firm in Minneapolis. It is presumed that he'll address his future. He replied to a text message Friday that he wouldn't comment until Tuesday.

On Thursday, an arbitrator ruled that Minnesota State was wrong to suspend, reassign and finally fire Hoffner last May and should reinstate him as head football coach.

Hoffner had been taken off the field because of a child pornography investigation that began in August of 2012. He was arrested and charged, but the charges were dismissed by a judge in November of that year. He did not get his coaching job back but was reassigned to a newly created position in the athletic department and then fired in May of 2013.

Longtime MSU booster Dennis Hood, who has been an ardent supporter of Hoffner throughout the ordeal, said he's talked with the coach since the ruling. While Hoffner didn't tell him whether or not he was returning to Mankato, Hood thinks he's leaning that way.

"Reading between the lines I think he's coming back," Hood said. "We won't know until the press conference on Tuesday but I believe he'll be coaching at (Minnesota State) this fall."

The Mavericks football team is undergoing spring practices under Aaron Keen, who has led the team the last two seasons, one as acting head coach and one as interim head coach. Keen remains interim coach — for now.

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