With once-exiled coach back in charge, Minnesota State resumes building small-school power

  • Article by: DAVE CAMPBELL , Associated Press
  • Updated: September 4, 2014 - 9:55 AM

MANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota State has survived some turbulent months to reach this season opener.

Now the Mavericks are poised to solidify their status as an NCAA Division II power, hopeful of producing headlines for their play on the field rather than the controversy off of it.

Todd Hoffner has returned as the coach after a banishment of nearly two years, stemming from child pornography charges he was fully exonerated of. On his first day back on the job this spring, players refused to practice out of support for Hoffner's replacement.

But the bad feelings were pushed aside, and players have readjusted to the coach who recruited them.

Hoffner was placed on leave prior to the 2012 season, fired by the university the following year and reinstated by an arbitrator.

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