August 1, 2007

Hep made Porter a better man, football player

Much has already been said and written about what Terry Hoeppner meant to his team from a football standpoint, but Hep also had an effect on his players' growth both as men and college students.

"He had a huge impact on us in the two years he had been here," senior cornerback Tracy Porter said. "All the players know how to be more mature, how to go about not just football, but things you do in life. He has been a father figure to us all, and to lose a father figure that's like losing someone in your family."

The effects Hoeppner had on Porter's life are clear to the senior cornerback now. But when Hep arrived in Bloomington, Porter says he wasn't exactly keen to the idea of a new head coach coming in and instilling a new system and way of doing things. Porter, however, eventually gave his new coach his attention.

"In the beginning I was a little hard-headed and didn't want to listen," said Porter, who was a sophomore when Hoeppner got the job. "(Hoeppner) disciplined me when he had to and he sat me down and talked to me about the team and what direction he wanted to go to. I had to eventually grow up, either accept it or leave. I chose to stay because I liked the things he was teaching."

That choice proved to be a beneficial one for Porter, who says Hep helped him better himself not only as a player, but as a student and a person.

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