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Indiana Confirms: Hoeppner Out for Fall In Cancer Fight

Via Orson's news vaccuum at EDSBS, confirmation of everyone's worst instincts since Terry Hoeppner skipped Indiana's spring drills to "take some time away to regain [his] strength and energy":

Indiana University Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan has announced that Bill Lynch, who has been the Hoosiers assistant head coach and offensive coordinator since 2005, will assume the title of head coach for the 2007 season as Terry Hoeppner continues his leave of absence.
"Our family continues to be very grateful and humbled by the tremendous support from the athletic administration, IU fans and friends around the country," Jane Hoeppner said. "For the past several months, Terry has received chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This battle requires us to focus our energy and attention on aiding his recovery in every way we can. The faith we have in God more than sustains us and grows stronger every day. 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 was a winner at Ball State from 1995-2002, including the MAC championship in 1996 and a tie for the West division title in 2001, and Indiana is generally viewed as an upwardly mobile team based on the returning skill talent from a young squad that upset Iowa and was one win from its first .500 record this decade. A bowl game - any bowl game; IU has fired Bill Mallory, Cam Cameron and Gerry DiNardo since the 1993 Independence Bowl - would represent an emotional triumph.

I have never been a "feel good" fan; I don't care if the Hoosiers win or lose. Emotion doesn't make first downs. But Hoeppner's contract runs through 2011. Here's every wish that, if he can't extend it, the coach is still somewhere in Bloomington then, still defying the odds, counting down the minutes until it expires.