Skip to main content

Hoffner, Mavericks climb to top of NCAA Division II poll

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

To say the last three years have been a roller coaster of emotions for Minnesota State University football coach Todd Hoffner would be an understatement.

Since being escorted off the practice field at MSU in August 2012 amid allegations of child pornography, Hoffner has been through the lowest of lows.

Now in his first season since being reinstated as the head coach, after two years away from the program, the Mavericks are reaching new heights.

A 7-0 start to the season has helped them climb to the top of the American Football Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.

"It a very big deal," Hoffner told USA Today. "It's tremendous recognition for our players, coaches, the university and the community. But it just makes the target on your back that much bigger."

While Hoffner has spent the last two years away from the program, first fighting the allegations – then after he was exonerated fighting to return to his job, the Mavericks were reaching new levels on the field.

Minnesota State was 24-2 under interim coach Aaron Keen and were undefeated during both the 2012 and 2013 regular seasons. They even reached number one during the final six weeks of last year's regular season.

Hoffner said the past success is one of the reasons the Mavericks have again climbed to the top of the division two poll.

"We're excited that we're being recognized for the body of work that's been done, even in my absence," said Hoffner to USA Today. "This team is continuing the tradition and the legacy that have been built. You only get ranked No. 1 if your body of work displays excellence."

The return to the field wasn't an easy one for Hoffner. Even after he was exonerated on the charges he was reassigned within the Minnesota State Athletic Department and eventually terminated.

It wasn't until after Hoffner had accepted a job to coach at Minot State that an arbitrator ruled Hoffner could return to MSU. His return to the Mavericks last spring didn't go smoothly either. Players boycotted practice on Hoffner's first day back, but returned after a meeting with the coaches and athletic department officials.

But things settled down through spring practice. Keen, who had been bumped to associated head coach, left to become an assistant at Eastern Michigan University.

"Everybody is obviously very happy," said John Harrington, the color analyst on the Minnesota State radio broadcasts. "We're very proud of the program and extremely happy for Todd, after what he's gone through, to step back in and have success happen right away, without a fall-off. There certainly would have been some rumbling and grumbling if there'd been a fall-off."

Next Up

Baby owl

The Raptor Center says downward trend holding for avian influenza

A "baby shower" fundraising campaign hopes to help return young raptors to the wild.

Prince

Commemorative street name for Prince approved in Minneapolis

The block next to the First Avenue nightclub will be named Prince Rogers Nelson Way.

storm, radar, severe weather

Monitoring severe storm threat Saturday-Tuesday in Minnesota

The holiday weekend won't be a washout, but multiple rounds of strong and severe storms are possible.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 4.45.15 PM

Charges: St. Cloud meth dealer had numerous weapons. body armor

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 38, faces 12 felony-level charges.

3100 Bloomington Ave.

South Minneapolis tenants declare rent strike; allege unsafe conditions

A group of Powderhorn Park residents say they'll withhold May rent due to health and safety concerns.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.11.26 PM

Threats involving 2 students at West St. Paul middle school

Police said there is no reason to be concerned for the safety of the rest of the student body at Heritage E-Stem Magnet Middle School.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Controversial Two Harbors mayor told: Resign or face recall election

The mayor has come under scrutiny for unusual behavior this year.

Lakeville Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Tips for selecting a reputable solar installer

Installing solar panels is a major investment. The solar solution provider you choose should be stable and trustworthy.

3M Maplewood

3M fined $2.8M for hazardous waste violations in Cottage Grove

The company's violations spanned more than two decades.

Christopher Payne and Kaley Wethern

Couple charged after $75k worth of fentanyl pills seized during traffic stop

Christopher James Payne and Kaley Maria Wethern have been charged in the seizure.

Related