MSU-Mankato coach arrested in child porn case

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 22, 2012 - 5:27 PM

Todd Hoffner, head football coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, is jailed on allegations that he possessed and produced child pornography.

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Eagle Lake Police Chief Phil Wills entered the garage at the home of Minnesota State University-Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner.

Photo: Pat Christman, Mankato Free Press via AP

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The head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was arrested and jailed Tuesday afternoon on allegations that he had possessed and produced child pornography.

Todd Hoffner, 46, of Eagle Lake, was arrested at his home. According to the university, Hoffner has been on leave from his coaching position since Friday and a school investigation is pending.

He remained jailed Tuesday night on suspicion of "use of minors in a sexual performance" and possession of child pornography while authorities considered formal charges, according to the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office.

Asked whether the first allegation meant that Hoffner was suspected of producing child pornography, Capt. Rich Murry of the Sheriff's Office responded, "That would be the allegation."

"The whole situation comes as a shock and is still a shock," said assistant coach Aaron Keen, who has taken over the Division II team in Hoffner's absence.

The Sheriff's Office said it received information Monday about Hoffner allegedly possessing pornography. His home was searched on Tuesday, and the coach was arrested.

In a statement released Tuesday night, university spokesman Dan Benson said, "The University's top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of its students, program participants, and the community. The University is not aware of any allegations affecting university students or program participants."

Citing state data practices law, Benson said he could not comment further about the university's investigation or the allegations against Hoffner.

The players have been working out without Hoffner since Friday, and "the guys have responded really well," said Keen, who was the team's offensive coordinator last season.

The players and coaches were to meet Tuesday night to "share information and to be there with them," Keen added.

Hoffner was entering his fifth year as the field general of the Mavericks, compiling a record of 34-13.

Over the past four seasons, he led the team to the playoffs (2008 and 2009), a Mineral Water Bowl Championship (2011), three Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division titles (2008, 2009 and 2011) and a share of the NSIC title (2011).

Before working in Mankato, Hoffner served as the offensive coordinator at the University of South Dakota. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He also was an assistant coach for eight seasons for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Hoffner is married and has three children. The Star Tribune attempted to call Hoffner's house, but the line was disconnected.

Staff writer Nicole Norfleet contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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