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Booking photo of Coach Todd Hoffner.

, Blue Earth County jail

'No items of concern,' Mankato coach's ex-employer says

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW
  • Star Tribune
  • September 27, 2012 - 7:07 AM

A Wisconsin college that once employed a Mankato football coach charged with two felony counts of child pornography has found no evidence that he did anything improper while working at the school.

Mike Rindo, assistant chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, indicated in an e-mail Wednesday that a school official had completed a review of Todd Hoffner's employment records and "identified no items of concern."

Hoffner, 46, is on paid administrative leave from his head coaching job at Minnesota State University, Mankato, after videos of his three children dancing nude were found last month on his school-issued cellphone by a university IT professional.

Court records said Hoffner brought the phone to the IT department Aug. 10 because it had malfunctioned.

Hoffner's attorney, Jim Fleming, has consistently said that the images on the phone were "private family moments" that contained nothing "descriptive, graphic, abusive or exploitative."

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is one of three schools that once employed Hoffner that reviewed his records after his arrest and arraignment last month.

Hoffner was head coach at Eau Claire, a Division III school, until February 2006, when he resigned to take an assistant coaching position at the University of South Dakota, a Division II school.

Phil Carter, a spokesman for the University of South Dakota, where Hoffner worked until taking the Mankato job in 2008, said earlier this month that an informal review of Hoffner's employment records turned up no evidence of anything improper.

Officials from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where Hoffner coached before moving to Eau Claire, also are reviewing the coach's record.

To date, Blue Earth County prosecutors have built their case against Hoffner off three videos he shot this summer. A search of computers, videos and other electronic equipment taken by investigators from the coach's home and car late last month turned up no evidence.

Hoffner's next court appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

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