Dec. 17, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. --Miami of Ohio's Terry Hoeppner was hired as Indiana football coach Friday and vowed to take the Hoosiers to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1968.

Advertisement


Hoeppner, 48-23 in six seasons at Miami, takes over a team with 10 consecutive losing seasons.

"Can we win here? There is no doubt about it," Hoeppner said. "We're going to build a championship football team here. That is no joke."

Indiana fired Gerry DiNardo after ending a 3-8 season with a 63-24 loss to rival Purdue. DiNardo went 8-27 in three years.

School president Adam Herbert said he expected Hoeppner to "reinvigorate" a football program that's also had a steep decline in attendance recently.

Before introducing Hoeppner, athletic director Rick Greenspan placed a single rose inside a crystal bowl on the lectern. The message was clear.


Terry Hoeppner promises <br>to take the Hoosiers to <br>the Rose Bowl. (AP)
"If you're playing in the Big Ten and you don't aspire to this and set this as your goal, you're cheating yourselves," Hoeppner said. "We're going to take Indiana back to the Rose Bowl."

Indiana has only been to that postseason game once and hasn't had a winning season since going 6-5 in 1994. Crowds averaged about 28,500 this season in 52,000-seat Memorial Stadium -- down from about 35,000 the year before.

Hoeppner, 57, grew up in the northeastern Indiana town of Woodburn and coached high school football in Indiana before starting his college coaching career as defensive coordinator at Franklin College, his alma mater.

He was an assistant at Miami of Ohio for 13 years before becoming head coach in 1999. His 2003 team, led by current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, went 13-1 and was ranked 10th in the final Associated Press poll.

Miami went 8-4 this year. Hoeppner will coach the RedHawks against Iowa State in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved