BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana assistant Bill Lynch will
replace football coach Terry Hoeppner, who is undergoing
chemotherapy and radiation treatments after two brain surgeries in
The 59-year-old Hoeppner is on his third medical leave from the
team. His latest absence, which began in mid-March, is the longest
in his two seasons with the Hoosiers.
Neither Hoeppner nor Indiana had disclosed the nature of his
illness. When asked Friday if Hoeppner has cancer, athletic
director Rick Greenspan said, "I won't say that, but I think it's
apparent by the definition."
Our family is confident that Bill and the staff will do a great job this season. These comments would be incomplete without Hep's ultimate statement to all of you -- Don't quit.
Hoeppner was admitted to the hospital several days ago and was
expected to return home later Friday, Greenspan said. He has not
been seen publicly since late February, and Indiana officials
issued a statement March 18 saying he was taking a temporary leave.
Lynch, who is offensive coordinator and assistant head coach,
filled in for Hoeppner during his absences.
"I think what Terry did for this team and this university was
give a belief to the team and the state that these kids could
win," Lynch said. "That's one vision we want to carry on."
Hoeppner, who was 48-25 in six years at Miami, was hired by
Indiana after the 2004 season and posted a 9-14 record with the
Hoosiers. In December, Hoeppner signed a two-year contract
extension through June 2011.
Hoeppner's wife, Jane, said he has been receiving chemotherapy
and radiation treatments for several months.
"This battle requires us to focus our energy and attention on
aiding his recovery in every way we can," she said in a statement.
"Our family is confident that Bill and the staff will do a great
job this season. These comments would be incomplete without Hep's
ultimate statement to all of you -- Don't quit."
Lynch had an 81-67-3 record in 14 seasons as head coach at Ball
State, Butler and DePauw and helped coach the Hoosiers quarterbacks
in 1993 and 1994. He returned to Indiana after Hoeppner was hired.
"The continuation of his medical leave gives Bill the
opportunity to coach, and Terry the chance to come back when he's
ready," Greenspan said.
Players were told of the coaching change Friday morning in a
meeting with Jane Hoeppner.
"Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with coach Hep
and his family," receiver James Hardy said. "We are focused on
having the best season we can possibly have, and coach Lynch will
continue to bring out the best in us."
There is a disability clause in Hoeppner's contract that allows
the university to void the deal if a doctor rules he is permanently
disabled. Greenspan has not said whether the university would
exercise that provision.
The Hoosiers open the season Sept. 1 at home against Indiana