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

protest, Daunte Wright

In letter, Hennepin Sheriff asks Brooklyn Center: Do you still want our help?

Dave Hutchinson has asked Mayor Mike Elliott whether the city still needs help from other law enforcement agencies.

Image from iOS (1)

Fatal crash closes eastbound Hwy. 62 in Minneapolis

The closure is expected to be in place for an "extended period of time."

police tape, crime scene

Boy, 15, identified as 1 of 2 killed in shooting after crash in Minneapolis

The shooting happened after two vehicles crashed around 2 a.m. April 12.

White Bear Lake Area High School

Officials: Racist messages in White Bear Lake faked to spotlight issues

The superintendent called them a "hoax" and has since apologized for using that term.

Derek Chauvin

Derek Chauvin will NOT testify, invokes 5th Amendment privilege

If Chauvin did testify, he would have been subject to cross-examination by the prosecution.

Brooklyn Center, protest, Daunte Wright

CNN employee struck in head by water bottle at Brooklyn Center protest

The man was knocked the ground, clearly dazed by the assault.

wolf collar video

Researchers share first-ever collar camera footage from wild wolf

The Voyageurs Wolf Project called it "fascinating," showing that wolves in northern Minnesota clearly know how to hunt fish.

Siren

Reminder: Tornado warning sirens will sound twice today for test

It's part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota.

Brooklyn Center police, unrest, Daunte Wright

No tear gas used as police, protesters engage again in Brooklyn Center

Fewer arrests were made Wednesday compared to Tuesday.

protest, Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center

Daunte Wright protests: Police treatment of residents, media in spotlight

There were reports of residents not involved in the protest being detained, and media members being held and forced to show credentials.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Related