It is a long way from Mankato to Vermillion, but allegations against Minnesota State University-Mankato head football coach 46-year-old Todd Hoffner are hitting close to home. The President of the University of South Dakota is not taking the former USD employee's child pornography allegations lightly.
"In hindsight now, we're just saying, 'Let's double check,'" Director of University Relations Tena Haraldson said.
Hoffner worked at USD as Offensive Coordinator from February 2006 to January 2008. Haraldson said officials checked his personnel file with the USD Human Resources Department.
"There had not been any notice in there of issues at the time here. No one can recall any incidences from that time period. It has been a while ago," Haraldson said.
USD President Jim Abbott wants all university cell phone and email records during Hoffner's time of employment.
The Mankato coach was escorted off the practice field on August 17. According to court papers, the three kids in videos found on Hoffner cell phone were, "dancing," and "jumping around completely naked," as well as making what appears to be sexual gestures. Hoffner's defense attorney, James Flemming, claims these videos are part of, "a private family moment," and are wrongly interpreted because they are not sexually graphic.
Haraldson is not sure if there are even any records to be found. During his time at USD, Hoffner was what Haraldson calls a 'part-time coach' and did a little teaching and had 'development' listed under his job title. Because of his part-time status, she is not sure he had a USD-issued cell phone.
"Without law enforcement subpoena-ing phone records, (we would never) know what happened with a personal cell phone," Haraldson said.
USD is not the only former employer looking into Hoffner's past. He worked at The University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire from 1999-2005. An Eau-Claire spokesperson said there is no indication a similar incident happened there, but it, "would be a good idea to check and see." Though this is not an official university investigation in Vermillion, Haraldson said officials are searching for these records for their own piece of mind.
Right now Hoffner has a 34-13 record, leading Mankato to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009. He also played a part in winning the 2011 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Title and was named the NSIC Coach of the Year in 2009. In July, he renewed his contract with Mankato for another four years.
Warning: Details in the following court papers are disturbing