Mankato coach is told he'll be moved to assistant athletic director

  • Article by: LARRY OAKES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2012 - 4:18 AM

Attorney says Todd Hoffner, cleared of child porn charges, will fight the decision to reassign him.


Todd Hoffner

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Minnesota State University, Mankato, on Friday notified Todd Hoffner that he won't be reinstated to his job as head football coach there, weeks after he was cleared of pornography charges involving cellphone videos of his children.

The university informed Hoffner by letter that, effective immediately, he will be reassigned to a job as assistant athletic director for facilities development.

Hoffner did not respond to a request for comment.

However, his civil attorney, Chris Madel, said Hoffner doesn't intend to abide by the university's decision.

"We intend to fight the university until Mr. Hoffner is restored as head coach of the successful football team he created," Madel said.

The university said late Friday that Aaron Keen, a Hoffner assistant who guided the team to a 13-1 record this fall in Hoffner's absence, will remain acting head football coach, adding that additional decisions about the position will be made in coming weeks.

The university's statement implies that Hoffner, in his new job, could have a role in upgrading or replacing Blakeslee Stadium.

The university's decision ends four months of uncertainty about whether Hoffner would be reinstated in the wake of his involuntary paid leave and a criminal investigation into videos found on his university-issued cellphone of his naked children dancing.

From the beginning, the coach, his wife, Melodee, and his criminal attorney, Jim Fleming, maintained his innocence, saying the images were private family moments that were not sexual, graphic or exploitative.

Charges dismissed

In late November, after viewing the videos, Blue Earth County District Judge Krista Jass agreed, dismissing the charges after finding that the images were not pornographic and were nothing more than innocent child's play.

Though the judge's decision cleared him of criminal wrongdoing, weeks passed without him being reinstated to his job. Instead, the university said Dec. 19 that while it had completed one internal investigation of Hoffner, a second internal investigation was pending.

About that same time the university informed Hoffner by letter that it would suspend him 20 days without pay. A source with knowledge of the letter said the suspension appeared to be related to the coach's use of a campus-issued cellphone to record the videos that led to the criminal charges.

The source also said then that the university had "brought up the idea" of Hoffner being reassigned to another position in the near future. Hoffner's unpaid suspension was to begin Jan. 7 and continue for 20 work days. The Inter Faculty Organization, which represents faculty at state universities, has challenged that suspension through a formal grievance.

In another facet of the case, Jass on Dec. 20, in response to a suit filed by Hoffner, ordered all files and data related to the criminal case temporarily sealed until she can review them and determine which should be permanently sealed to protect the privacy of the Hoffner children and family.

While Minnesota law generally holds that data from closed criminal investigations should be public, attorney Madel said the law has an exception for cases of alleged child abuse.

"The police took pictures of numerous places in [Hoffner's] home, numerous books he and his wife read, pictures of his kids and drawings they did -- meaningless drawings," Madel said, adding that there shouldn't even be an investigative file to view: "The police never should have searched his home, and the prosecutor never should have charged him."

Boosters react

Prominent Mankato boosters contacted Friday night said they weren't pleased to learn of the reassignment.

"The idea that they would try to reassign him ... certainly is not what the majority of people I have spoken to would like to see," said Dennis Hood, co-president of the Mavericks' Touchdown Club. "We're all very surprised that it has come to where it is."

Rod Searle, a 1959 graduate of the school and longtime Mavericks fan, called it "just more of a screwup by Mankato State."

"I don't know why they are dragging this doggone thing on for so long," he said.

Staff writer Nicole Norfleet contributed to this report. Larry Oakes • 612-673-1751

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53


question of the day

Poll: Will the Gophers bring home The Axe?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters