Everyone just stood to sing the IU fight song along with the jazz band. That marked the end of the ceremony.
The ceremony provided a nice opportunity for members of IU athletics to reflect on Hoeppner and what he brought to the program. The mood definitely had a somber feel throughout and most peoples’ thoughts seemed to be with Hoeppner and his family. On what is a sad day for the IU family, hopefully as Greenspan and Jane Hoeppner had discussed this can be a week of celebration
The band is back playing and I am off to see if I can get some refreshments.
Josiah Sears just spoke. He gave a nice speech on Hoeppner and what he meant to the program. He also thanked Coach Hoeppner and his family for allowing IU to dream big. He said Hep’s ultimate goal was to reach the Rose Bowl and this facilites upgrade will help get IU closer to his dream.
The actual groundbreaking is underway now. The shovel has “broken the ground” and each present speaker or Board of Trustee is getting a chance to turn the dirt in three shifts.
Sampson is speaking now. He said the rain this morning was appropriate for the mood following Hoeppner’s passing.
He also shared his memories of Hoeppner. He said remembers after the Wisconsin win, when all the students were storming the court, Hoeppner was the first to congratulate him with a big bear hug. He said he only had 3 minutes to speak about the facilities, but instead chose to focus his talk on Hoeppner.
Greenspan said he talked with Jane Hoeppner about this week being a celebration. He said this will be “a hell of a celebration.” He also acknowledged Coach Lynch and his staff.
Greenspan is finished speaking and now a video on the new facilities is being shown, featuring Coach Sampson, Legette-Jack, and Lynch.
New President Michael McRobbie just spoke. He basically echoed the sentiments of Herbert and said these plans will carry on the vision of Coach Hoeppner and will help attract better student athletes to IU.
AD Rick Greenspan is speaking now and is very emotional. Fighting back tears, Greenspan said these new facilities were Hoeppner’s dream.
After struggling through the beginning of the speech remembering Hoeppner, he moved on to the new facilities. He said these facilites represent change and will allow the development of students athletes academically and physically.
Adam Herbert got the ceremony going as the first speaker, by introducing the Board of Trustees.
His speech turned somber after the inroduction and moved quickly into the news of Coach Hoeppner’s passing. Just as his mood turned somber, so did the mood of the crowd.
He said the first reaction of many was to cancel the event, but Coach Hep’s family urged them to carry on with the ceremony. Herbert also shared the poem “Don’t Quit” with the crowd in honor of Hoeppner. He said the poem has summarized the proud history and success of the IU athletic program.
He said the plans for new facilities will help carry on the vision that Hoeppner had for IU athletics, especially the North Endzone facility, for which Hoeppner fought so hard.
Hey everyone, it’s Brian now.
There is a really large crowd gathering now inside the tent. The seats are filling up and people are already standing along the outer edge of the tent.
Anyways, the jazz band has stopped playing for now and it looks like the ceremony might begin shortly. I’ll keep you posted.
We’re here in the tent outside Memorial Stadium, where the ground breaking ceremony for Indiana’s new facilities will take place, as planned, despite the death this morning of football coach Terry Hoeppner.
Jane Hoeppner asked that it not be canceled.
Many fans and VIPs are gathered here, gallantly trying their best to provide the sort of atmosphere this event was supposed to have. Upbeat live jazz plays in the background and everyone here is chatting. The program should begin soon and will include comments from President Adam Herbert, soon-to-be president Michael McRobbie, Rick Greenspan, Kelvin Sampson and others.
Brian, our current intern, will be along in a little bit to provide updates.