There’s a story about a coach. This coach followed a journey, but it was no ordinary journey. He became a head football coach in 1999 at Wisconsin-Eau Claire. After a league title and five seasons ranked in the Top 25 this coach moved on to Vermillion, SD where he spent two season as Offensive Coordinator for the South Dakota Coyotes. In 2008, the coach had a chance to run a program again and was introduced as the head coach at Minnesota State University. In 2012 the journey hit a road block and a nightmare began. In January 2014 the coach was hired as a football coach at Minot State. Three months later a court ruled he could have his old job back. He took it. The coach is Todd Hoffner and his Mavericks are about to play for a national championship.
You’ve heard the story. The coach took pictures of his kids playing. When he took his cell phone to get repaired pictures of the nude kids were discovered and turned in. Police escorted Hoffner from practice and an investigation began. The charges were dropped. An arbitrator ruled Hoffner was wrongfully fired and ordered the school to reinstate him.
It didn’t stop there. The players walked out on the coach. Eventually he regained their trust. And now the Mavericks are set to play for a national title.
It’s the type of story that leads to a movie. The story is unfinished. The Mavericks will kickoff against CSU-Pueblo Saturday at 3:00pm at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Hoffner will try to finish the long journey back to coaching with a national championship in his return year.
I had a chance to interview Todd Hoffner on Wednesday to talk about his team and a look ahead to the championship.