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Sunday, May 1, 2016

In second stint at DePauw, Lynch now ready to stay

Friday, December 21, 2012

New DePauw head coach stalks the sidelines during his first stint with the Tigers in 2004.
(Courtesy photo/DePauw University)
When Bill Lynch begins his second stint as the head football coach of DePauw University on Jan. 2, it will be under much different circumstance than the last time.

Lynch first coached the team in 2004, replacing legendary DPU head coach Nick Mourouzis.

Coach Nick served as head coach for 23 seasons before stepping down, and the school hadn't known much change.

Beginning with Lynch, the Tigers have had five coaches in the nine years since.

Lynch hadn't planned to make his stay short, but when he got a call from his good friend inviting him to join the staff at Indiana University, it was too much to turn down.

"That was a very unique situation, in that a very good friend of mine, Terry Hoeppner, (called)," Lynch said. "We had kind of grown up together in the coaching profession and always competed against each other.

"We always talked about, if we ever had a chance to work together on the same staff, that would be great."

That opportunity came when Hoeppner took the IU job. He brought with him his young wide receiver's coach, Billy Lynch.

"To be able to go work with Terry, and also to be able to work with my son, it was just a unique, unique situation. That was a different time," Lynch said. "My wife and I are in a different place now with our kids all raised. We had two kids in college at the time. That was the main thing.

"It was a hard decision because I really enjoyed DePauw and had a great experience there."

Lynch won eight games in his one year at DPU, then joined his friend at IU.

After two seasons, Hoeppner became too ill to coach.

Lynch was named the interim head coach just days before Hoeppner died in June 2007.

He lasted four seasons before being let go, then became an associate athletic director at his Alma Mater, Butler.

Billy moved on, too. He's now the wide receivers coach at Rice University.

Lynch's other two sons -- Joey and Kevin, who were in college last time Lynch was DePauw's coach -- have gotten college jobs, too.

Joey is now the tight ends coach at Ball State, and Kevin is the wide receivers coach at the University of Indianapolis.

His sons have kept Lynch close to the game, calling him regularly to talk football, and when the DePauw job came up, Lynch got the hunger to return.

"All along, I've missed coaching," he said. "I've got three sons that are college football coaches. They'd be calling every night, talking about this and talking about that.

"When this opportunity came, I was excited to get involved in it. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach."

Lynch said he's leaving a great situation at Butler, but he believes DPU will be an even better one.

"I really had a special time when I was there before," Lynch said. "I'm really excited about the new leadership. Dr. Casey (DPU president Brian W. Casey) and (athletic director) Steve Baker-Watson; their vision of the future and where they want to go. It's an exciting time."

Lynch graduated from a private liberal arts college himself and said he thinks that atmosphere is a better fit for him now than ever before.

Casey and Baker-Watson share similar goals to Lynch -- having quality student-athletes that are active on campus and in the classroom -- which helps as they try to accomplish another goal, competing at the highest level on the football field.

"They (DPU administrators) want to be successful and they want to be successful in the right way," Lynch said. "That's certainly right in line with my priorities, and I think it's a great fit.

"There's a commitment in that athletics is a very important aspect of the university. I think that's important as a coach, and certainly football is one of those sports that has an impact on campus."

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