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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Player remembers coach Hep

A year ago, the Indiana football family lost a great person in Terry Hoeppner. He’s the man who began to take our team from being the doormat of the Big Ten to making last year’s bowl appearance. He vowed to take us to the Rose Bowl. Because of him, every year we have taken one step closer to reaching the vision he had and the goals he set out for us to achieve. \nOne might think that I could remember the day Hep died like it was yesterday. But that simply isn’t true. I can remember being in the locker room immediately after a team run and one of the coaches calling us in to a team meeting where Coach Lynch delivered the heartbreaking news. I can barely remember my first reaction or what I did afterward. In a way, it’s as if he never left and I don’t need to come to the realization that he’s gone. There are reminders of what he meant to us and the legacy he left behind all around the football complex. Everything from pictures, quotes, goals and his favorite poem “Don’t Quit.” It gives us players a sense of confidence and pride seeing those things on a daily basis.\nWe recently received our bowl rings, which have the name “HEP” on one side. It couldn’t be more perfect. Sure, we lost the game, but we can’t forget all the important things Hep taught us about football and how it’s not the end-all to everything. Life itself is most important. Football will come and go; we’re going to win many games, and we will lose some. Those things happen. But it’s the impact we make on others and the legacy we leave behind that counts.\nHep taught us valuable lessons each day just by living the way he did. He always kept a positive and upbeat attitude even through his sickness. Many times I forgot he even had cancer. He greeted us with a smile each day and always told us how there was no place he’d rather be than there with us players. We all knew that he meant it, for he showed it each and everyday.\nThere have been many times when I’ve wondered how I would deal with such an illness. Hep kept his faith in God and never faltered. He believed in the power of prayer, and he never let us believe for one second that God wasn’t in control of his situation and that no matter what happened he’d be just fine. \nOn this day, one year later, Terry Hoeppner is more than just fine. He has an unimaginable happiness up in heaven. I believe he’s keeping track of us, making sure that we never quit and keep the faith, living strong if you will. We all miss Hep for the man he was and the men he helped us players become while he was here. I’ll always wonder how things would’ve been if he had never been stricken with cancer. But I do know that everything happens for a reason and life does go on. We must never forget what Hep has done for us all, whether it is great or small. He was a man of character, resilience and faith. He will never be forgotten.

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