Hoffner expected to announce decision today

MINNEAPOLIS – At least for another day, Todd Hoffner is Minot State’s head football coach.

Hoffner, who has the option to have his four-year contract at Minnesota State-Mankato reinstated, is expected to announce his decision to stay at or leave Minot State today. A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., in Minneapolis, the law firm of Hoffner’s private attorney, Chris Madel.

Hoffner, who was hired by Minot State on Jan. 30 to replace former coach Paul Rudolph, was fired by MSU-Mankato in May 2013.

Subsequently, Hoffner filed a labor grievance with the Bureau of Mediation Services.

The dismissal stemmed from charges of possessing and producing child pornography. Hoffner was placed on administrative leave in August 2012, but the charges were dismissed by the judge, Krista J. Jass, in Nov. 2012.

On Wednesday, an arbitrator ruled in favor of Hoffner, giving him the option to have his contract at MSU-Mankato reinstated.

If he elects to return to Mankato, Minot State will be forced to hire a head football coach for the second time in less than three months.

If Hoffner decides to stay at Minot State, he will be compensated with the difference in pay – $90,000 at Minot State to $100,190 at MSU-Mankato. He will also receive back pay, plus interest, and be repaid for a 20-day suspension during his employment at MSU-Mankato.

At the Beavers’ spring practice session Monday, he addressed the team and remained mum.

“We don’t know anything. We had practice today and he didn’t really say much,” redshirt freshman Ray Watkins said.

The consensus in the locker room, he said, is that the team hopes he remains at Minot State, but admitted many teammates are quite uncertain what decision their coach will make.

“We were depressed after a 2-9 season. Bringing him is was a great feeling,” Watkins said. “We hit the ground running with practice and weights and strength and conditioning. We feel a good change.

“Whatever is best for him and his family, though.”

Other teammates have been more forward.

“I hope Coach Hoffner stays!” senior receiver Leon LaDeaux posted on Twitter.

Added his sophomore brother, Aaron LaDeaux: “I don’t want another new coach. The one we have now is going to take us places. Be somewhere you’re wanted rather than being somewhere you want to be.”

Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.