The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

June 19, 2007

Sad Day In Big Ten

In the Big Ten football family, some coaches have become legends. Coaches like Woody, Bo, and Joe Pa have been fixtures in college football folklore. At the lower tiers of the Big Ten, there aren’t very many legends, but there are some class acts, like Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Joe Tiller at Purdue, etc. Unfortunately, last year we lost another class act, Randy Walker, the head coach at Northwestern, to a heart attack. Randy was a coach battling the struggles of a small school in a difficult recruiting area, but was able to field some competitive and well-respected teams even with those difficulties.

Unfortunately, today brings more bad news, as IU coach Terry Hoeppner has finally lost his battle with brain cancer. Coach Hep had only been with the team a few years, but from the beginning he was bringing a buzz to IU football that hasn’t existed for at least a decade or two. Fans and students alike were beginning to even become excited about the team. As a Purdue fan, I never want to see us get beaten by IU, but it seemed like a positive thing for both teams if our rivalry might decide which team gets a 3rd- or 4th-place finish in the Big Ten, instead of the last-place finishes we were battling for 15 years ago. In barely more than two years of coaching, it seemed like Coach Hep was reminding the state of Indiana that there’s something beyond basketball, even for teams not named Notre Dame.

Unlike Walker, this wasn’t unexpected news. Last year, Hep underwent two surgeries due to his cancer. Despite a tough mentality (he missed very little work after each brain surgery) and a positive outlook, the reports have been trickling out all year, revealing a worsening condition. This morning, he died in the hospital with his family around him, a premature end to a story that we all wanted to see continue. I wish his family the best, and– although it pains me to say it– the same wishes extend to the IU community. Today is a sad day for all football fans, regardless of whether they wear Cream and Crimson, or the Old Gold and Black.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:08 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, News, Sports


  1. I was going to say that you forgot to mention Lou Holtz in your opening list of Big Ten coaches, but I keep forgetting that Notre Dame doesn’t want to be part of the Big Ten…

    Comment by Sober John — July 3, 2007 @ 11:11 am
  2. Yep… They know they can’t handle the competition.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — July 3, 2007 @ 11:14 am

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