The former head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, wept in an interview that aired Sunday on ESPN as he spoke for the first time about the events that cost him his job.
The Associated Press reports the story of Todd Hoffner, 46, cleared of child pornography charges but fired from his job, was featured on ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Hoffner, speaking to ESPN at his Eagle Lake home, said he didn't know what police were talking about when they arrested him, and when he understood, "my heart sunk to the bottom of my shoes."
He was charged with possession of child pornography in August after school officials found videos of his naked children on his work-issued cellphone.
"I watched the videos and I'm like, come on," Hoffner said. "They're laughing; they're singing; they're playful; they're having fun. I just didn't see the magnitude of arresting somebody for that."
A judge cleared him in November, ruling that the videos showed nothing illegal. After the dismissal, university officials removed him as head football coach and named him an assistant athletic director. Earlier this month, he was fired from the school. The union representing Hoffner has filed a grievance.
Despite the difficulty of the last year, Todd Hoffner said he'd like to coach again.
"I'm hoping for a second chance. ... I want to go back to being a football coach."