<
>

RedHawks coach accepts IU offer

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

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


However, that recent slide didn't stop athletic director Rick Greenspan from
placing a crystal bowl with a rose in it on the lectern before Hoeppner
addressed the media at an afternoon news conference. The message was clear, and Hoeppner did not back away from the challenge.

"If you play in the Big Ten and you don't aspire to this [pointing to the bowl], then you're cheating yourself," he said.

"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.

Indiana hasn't had a winning season since going 6-5 in 1994, and
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.


"While our goal is to move swiftly to replace coach Hoeppner, we
want to be deliberate as much as possible to ensure we find an
individual who embraces the high standards of Miami University
and who will be best suited to build upon the tradition," Miami director of athletics Brad Bates said.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.