The MSU football team will be led into the future by head coach Todd Hoffner. That fact was confirmed at a press conference today by university director of athletics Kevin Buisman.
Still, it appears there will be some challenges ahead for these Mavericks.
Yesterday, Hoffner was supposed to join his team at practice for the first time since announcing he would return as their head coach. Instead junior defensive back Sam Thompson read a statement saying the players wanted Aaron Keen as their head coach and then canceled practice and left the field.
Today's press conference was held to tell all that the program is moving forward, but that may be a little easier said than done.
Junior Safety Sam Thompson says, "What we said is that we support Aaron Keen as the head coach. We would love for him to be our head coach. We understand that through the arbitration process this is a legally bound thing. At the meeting this morning we addressed that. We talked about it. We worked through it as a family and we've come to see that the most important thing here is getting back on the playing field for the goal of winning a national championship."
Associate Head Coach Aaron Keen says, "Our players are 18 to 22 years old. I'm 41. I get emotional at times. I certainly understand how players at that age can get swept up in the some of the emotion of the decision. I think our players wanted a voice. I don't think they knew exactly what they wanted out of that. They just wanted to be heard. I'm certainly not going to fault them for that. The process since that point, where they've had a chance to voice any frustrations and ask questions and get answers, and it's only going to make us better as a football program."
Head Coach Todd Hoffner says, "These young men are very impressionable and they have a tremendous amount of loyalty to coach Keen. The length of time, the absence while I was gone lead to a lot of that. And a lot of success too. These young men should be commended for their loyalty, but I think they'll be able to transition and we'll hopefully make this a very smooth process."
The Mavericks are scheduled to be back at practice tomorrow afternoon at 3:30.