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Monday, May 20, 2013
This was the right decisionPosted Monday, November 26, 2007, at 11:11 AM
I don't know Indiana University Athletic Director Rick Greenspan.
I honestly couldn't identify him in a police lineup.
But I do know IU head football coach Bill Lynch. And I think Greenspan made a great decision Monday.
IU announced Monday it had signed Lynch to a four-year deal as its football coach. Lynch replaced Terre Hoeppner as the Hoosiers' head coach after Hoeppner underwent surgery for a brain tumor.
Four days after Lynch was named head coach for the 2007 season, Hoeppner died from complications from the brain tumor.
I got to know Lynch while covering sports at The BannerGraphic in Greencastle. In 2004, he guided the DePauw University Tigers' football squad to an 8-2 record. Even though the Tigers didn't make the playoffs that year, Lynch proved to be a great coach.
And a great interview.
Lynch came to DePauw after long-time coach Nick Mourouzis retired.
Most DPU faithful were leary of anyone coming in to coach the football team. Mourouzis had such a rich history with the university.
But Lynch was a great replacement. And did I mention he was great interview.
I remember when he was introduced as the new coach at DPU. From the very get-go, anyone could tell he had a certain flare. You just knew the DePauw players were going to give their all for him.
He had come from Ball State and previously coached at Butler.
He only stayed with the Tigers for one season before Hoeppner came calling, asking Lynch to serve as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
Lynch also served as Indiana's quarterbacks coach in 1993-94 under former IU coach Bill Mallory.
Only months after Hoeppner died, Lynch guided the Hoosiers to a 7-5 mark, their most wins since 1993. In addition, the seven wins helped Indiana reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994. The Hoosiers also recaptured the Old Oaken Bucket after defeating Purdue this season for the first time since 2001.
Lynch's career coaching mark is 88-72-3. In his 15 season as a collegiate head football coach, he has tallied eight winning seasons.
I have heard and read all season from several IU football fans that Lynch was not the answer for the program.
My response to that is, "then who is?"
I'm pretty certain that the Hoosiers would have become bowl eligible under Hoeppner this year as well. But when the program was rocked by Hoeppner's death, it was Lynch that stepped up and helped guide IU to its 7-5 record.
Who could have done this better?