Hoffner’s difficult choice

Minot State University is looking for a head football coach again.

Todd Hoffner announced his decision Tuesday to return to the head coaching job at Minnesota State-Mankato, leaving the Minot job that he accepted on Jan. 30.

Hoffner’s situation was unique, to say the least. He was fired by Mankato State in May 2013 after being charged with possessing and producing child pornography. The charges were later dismissed. Hoffner filed a labor grievance with the Bureau of Mediation Services, and last week an arbitrator ruled in Hoffner’s favor, giving him the option of having his contract at Mankato reinstated.

We’re had hoped Hoffner would choose to stay at Minot State, but we know it had to have been an incredibly difficult decision for the coach and his family. There were reasons to return to Mankato. Hoffner no doubt recruited some of the players at Mankato, and the team is probably further along in its development than Minot State, which is relatively new to the NCAA?Division II level. But returning to Mankato to work with an administration that had put him on administrative leave and eventually fired him less than a year ago will no doubt have its awkward moments.

There certainly were reasons to stay in Minot, too. Minot State offered Hoffner the opportunity to restart his coaching career, and the chance to take the university’s football program to the next level of success. The coach’s parents still live in Esmond, not far away from Minot.

In the end, though, Hoffner opted to return to Mankato to finish what he started at that school. We wish him good luck. Minot State now must work quickly to find another head football coach.