On a football level there is no higher praise than this: Terry Hoeppner made me care about Indiana Football. Furthermore, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if this man was given a chance he was going to make it work at IU. If anyone could it was Coach Hep.
When you are the Indiana Football coach you don’t need to be the smartest, best coach in the world to overcome the barriers, but you do have to be the most passionate coach. You have to make people care who are used to caring 0%: the players, the recruits, and especially the fans. He did it better than anyone ever has.
I’ll remember Hep talking after the Hoosiers upset Iowa in 2006, telling the ESPN sideline reporter to “get on board because the Hoosiers are a rocket ship and we’re headed up.” They went on to win 3 out 4 Big Ten games (when has that ever happened in Bloomington?) including an absolute dismantling of Michigan State. I just wish they could have taken that last game in West Lafayette. Coach deserved it.