Hoeppner Member of 2008 Independence Bowl Hall of Honor Class
April 17, 2008
SHREVEPORT, La. - Former Indiana University and Miami (Ohio) head football coach Terry Hoeppner, who will be inducted posthumously, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban join former LSU quarterback Herb Tyler as the 2008 Independence Bowl's Hall of Honor class, it was announced by the Independence Bowl Foundation.
This year's event will be held June 19-20 and begins with the induction ceremony on the evening of Thursday, June 19 and the golf tournament, which will be held on Friday, June 20. The Independence Bowl Hall of Honor is comprised of players and coaches who have exemplified positive achievements both on and off the field, and who participated in the Independence Bowl at some point in the game's history. The first class of inductees was honored in 1996.
"We are thrilled with the 2008 Independence Bowl Hall of Honor induction class," said Independence Bowl Executive Director Missy Setters. "We feel this is one of our strongest induction classes to date and we look forward to honoring these men who have made a huge mark in Independence Bowl history. We have hosted not only some of the biggest programs in college football but also some of the most outstanding players and coaches in the game and we look forward to hosting coach Nick Saban, Jane Hoeppner and Herb Tyler in June."
Hoeppner, who took a leave of absence for the entire 2007 season after leading the Hoosiers to a 5-7 record in 2006, will be represented by his widow, Jane Hoeppner, who will be on hand for the event. Hoeppner's leave of absence was dictated by his battle with brain cancer. Hoeppner lost that battle on June 19 of last year.
The Hoosiers rallied around their head coach in 2007, despite him not being on the sidelines, as Indiana went 7-5 and made its first bowl game in 14 years as the Hoosiers lost to Oklahoma State in the Insight Bowl. Fittingly, the last time Indiana made a bowl game prior to last year was when the Hoosiers faced Virginia Tech in the 1993 Independence Bowl.
He spent six seasons as the head coach of Miami University, where he coached current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and compiled a 48-25 overall record and an 8-5 record along with an appearance in the 2004 Independence Bowl against Iowa State, in what was his final season at the helm. His 2003 team went 13-1 and 8-0 to win the Mid-American Conference title and then defeated Louisville in the GMAC Bowl.
Saban coached Michigan State in 1995 when the Spartans fell to LSU, 45-26, in the Independence Bowl. Saban capped his first season at Alabama with a 30-24 victory over Colorado in the 2007 PetroSun Independence Bowl, as the Tide finished the season 7-6. Saban coached LSU for five seasons after leaving Michigan State. He is 1-1 all-time in the Independence Bowl.
Saban led LSU to the 2003 national championship and that season was named the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and earned both the Paul W. "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year Award and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award by the Football Writers Association of America. He was also chosen as SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.
Tyler, a native of New Orleans, was LSU's starting quarterback from 1995-98. He passed for 5,876 yards and 40 touchdowns during his career and added 778 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground. Tyler ran for two touchdowns in LSU's historic 28-21 upset of No. 1 Florida in 1997.
He went 2-0 in his career in the Independence Bowl, winning the 1995 game as a freshman and picking up his second win in 1997. Tyler ranks fourth all-time in LSU history with 6,654 total yards. His 5,876 yards passing ranks fifth all-time in school history.
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