Indiana fires Lynch, with possible implications in Minnesota

John Hageman

Indiana fired fourth-year head football coach Bill Lynch Sunday, one day after defeating Purdue in overtime for the Hoosiers’ only conference win of the season. Indiana finished 5-7 overall, its third straight losing season. The Hoosiers’ 1-7 conference record was worst in the Big Ten. 

The move may have implications for Minnesota’s coaching search.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg speculated that San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke may be in line to fill the vacant Indiana job. It was reported last week that Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi flew to San Diego to meet with Hoke about becoming the next head coach at Minnesota. With ties to the Midwest and the Big Ten, Hoke could conceivably be a fit at either school, both of which are trying to turn around floundering programs.

Hoke played linebacker at Ball State just two and a half hours down the road from Indiana University and was the head coach from 2003 to 2008 before leaving for San Diego State. He coached Ball State to a 12-1 record in 2008, just four years removed from a 2-9 finish. The Aztecs finished this season at 8-4, and Hoke has three years left on his contract with a buyout worth $1.5 million.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego State is working on a “retention package” that would likely include a salary increase and contract extensions for Hoke and his assistants to keep him from bolting to Minnesota or, presumably, another school. San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk said it’s unlikely that Hoke leaves San Diego State.

Sterk said Hoke let him know that Minnesota called, but Maturi didn’t call Sterk first about his interest in Hoke. While it isn’t an official rule to call the athletic director prior to talking to coaches about other jobs, Sterk said it’s considered common courtesy.

Hoke said he told his players about his meeting with Minnesota, and said talking to Minnesota during the season was an issue of timing

Check for continuing updates on Minnesota’s coaching search.