"Traditions and Persistence"

Athletics Facility Groundbreaking Ceremony
Remarks of Michael A. McRobbie
President-Elect Indiana University
Tent between Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium
June 20, 2007

On behalf of the Bloomington campus of Indiana University, thank you for joining us this afternoon.

First, let me express, as we all do, my deepest condolences to the Hoeppner family during this terribly difficult time.

Coach Hep brought to Indiana University football a strength of spirit that inspired players, coaches and fans across Bloomington and around the state. He truly believed in his players, and he embodied for them the traditions of IU athletics that would help propel them to victory.

One of the greatest of those traditions -- which is especially poignant today -- is persistence even in the face of tremendous odds. Names like Bill Garrett and George Taliaferro remind us of some of the many challenges IU's most outstanding athletes have faced in their struggles toward victory. Their remarkable commitment, determination and discipline demonstrate the very best of Indiana University.

Coach Hep put it this way: "Never quit." That is how he lived his life and coached his team in his all too short time with us.

As President Herbert has noted, these new facilities are part of Coach Hep's vision for the IU Football Program and for all of IU athletics. They focus on athletic and academic excellence, and so they mark the important balance that our student athletes strike as they pursue excellence in two different, but mutually reinforcing, arenas.

Indiana University is about more than classrooms and books. It is about building character, instilling integrity and teaching the whole person. It is also about never giving up.

Let us be sure to learn that important lesson, one that Coach Hep taught every day, both on and off the field. Persistence encourages us to embrace the rich traditions and history that have brought us to this day even as it leads us toward the future.

And let this also be how we remember Terry Hoeppner.