Minnesota State Football Coach Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

David LutherFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2012

(Photo: Minnesota State University Athletics)
(Photo: Minnesota State University Athletics)

The head coach of the Minnesota State football team has been arrested on charges relating to child pornography, the Mankato Free Press reported.

Todd Hoffner, 46, was arrested late Tuesday morning and booked at the Blue Earth County Jail.

Hoffner was reportedly escorted off the field during practice on Friday, August 17, and placed on administrative leave. Minnesota State University, Mankato, has offered no comment on the issue, other than to say the university is not aware of any allegations involving Minnesota State students or other staff members.

Hoffner's current contract with Minnesota State was recently renewed for four seasons, and his yearly salary of $101,000 is supplemented by an additional benefits package worth about $31,000 annually.

The news release also stated that “the university's top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of its students, program participants, and the community.”

On the heels of the child abuse scandal at Penn State, this type of allegation has been met with similar shock and anger in Mankato, a town of about 40,000.

As more information is released, the details become more and more shocking. Reportedly, videos of nude children found on the Minnesota State University-issued cell phone led to the initial investigation. The children in the video, allegedly shot by Hoffner, are of his three children, all under the age of 10. The video reportedly shows his children jumping around while nude, but Hoffner's attorney, Jim Fleming, argued at Hoffner's bond hearing that the videos were not of a pornographic nature and did not include any sexual activity or pretense.

Bail was set at $10,000 on the condition that Hoffner not be alone with his children, or $40,000 without conditions.

After the bond hearing, Fleming told reporters, “There is nothing in that video that is descriptive, graphic, abusive or exploitative.” He described the video as “private family moments that were videotaped.”

Head coaching duties have been turned over to offensive coordinator Aaron Keen.

Minnesota State is coming off of a 9-3 season, which saw the Mavericks capture a share of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title. The Mavericks defeated Northeastern State in the Mineral Water Bowl after not being selected for the playoffs.

Hoffner took over in 2008 and led Minnesota State to a 9-3 record and Division II playoff berth after a 5-6 finish in 2007.

The Mavericks also made the playoffs in 2009 and finished 10-2. Hoffner is 34-13 overall. Minnesota State is unranked to begin the season but received votes in the AFCA Division II Preseason Coaches' Poll. The NSIC preseason coaches' poll placed the Mavericks third in the conference, with one first-place vote, while being picked to win the South Division.