Foxmen Rise to the Challenge

Feb 13, 2013

“He made me understand I could accomplish more than I really thought I could. He taught me you could do things you never expected. I tip my hat to him and I say a prayer everyday for Paul, because he was a real man, a real gentleman, and a real teacher.” -- Bruce Miller

Heidelberg’s Board of Trustees have approved a Strategic Acton Plan that identifies the construction of a new Athletic Stadium and Alumni Center as a top priority, essential to the future of athletics, campus life and the university as a whole.

Anonymous Trustee donors have committed $1 M to name this premier campus facility after Paul “The Fox” Hoernemann, the man who stands above all the rest when it comes to athletics and alumni at Heidelberg.

Three Heidelberg Trustees and their wives, John and Beverly Kratz, Ted and Jane Hieronymus, and Bill and Staci Landess, have challenged the men who played for him – collectively known as “The Foxmen” to match their support, in order to secure the stadium naming rights and to christen the Alumni Center as The Fox Den in honor of his post-coaching career in development at Heidelberg.

As they did so often for their coach on the field, the Foxmen are rising to this challenge with flying colors. Already, more than $257,000 has been contributed by those who have joined “The Huddle”, a group of 12 Foxmen who are leading the charge to honor their former coach.

To this day, the Foxmen remain very loyal and close as a group. United by the shared impact of Paul Hoernemann on their lives, they are coming forward one by one to share their memories and pledge their support to the Stadium campaign.

“He was a tremendous builder of self confidence,” said Bill Goodwin, who is co-chairing the Foxmen Challenge along with Jim Getz. “I can tell you many stores of teammates feeling they were not going to make it, who went in to tell the Coach they wanted to quit, and came out of his office saying, ‘I’m going to be an All-American!’”

“He had a great knack of relating to people and was very sincere,” Goodwin added. “He cared as much for you on the field as off – across the board. He got jobs for players and had fingers everywhere. We were told, ‘You play for The Fox, and he’ll take care of you for life.’”

Foxmen Challenge Co-Chair Jim Getz feels similarly. “He was a very classy gentleman. He demanded you went to class, and that you got good grades. You knew the coach was on your side.”

This is the second time that Getz and Goodwin have rallied the Foxmen in honor of their coach. In 1997 they recruited over 100 Foxmen and friends to witness Paul Hoernemann’s induction ceremony into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“Here were the legends of college football,” said Goodwin, recalling the experience. “We stood there in awe, and realized we were a proud part of the game.”

While the Foxmen have great memories of playing off campus in a local community stadium, they understand that times have changed.

“We were a big part of the community back then. Everybody went to the games and we could walk into any business and be welcomed by them,” Goodwin stated. “Those were wonderful years for the town and the school – but now having the stadium back on campus is going to help the institution more.”

Getz agrees. “I’m all in favor the Stadium project. It’s an appropriate tribute to Coach Hoernemann, and is important to athletics on the campus and the student athlete experience. Over 2/3 of students are involved in athletics at Heidelberg today. That says a lot.”

Who’s in the Huddle?

  • Eugene Amlin, Class of 1954
  • John Busch, Class of 1955
  • David Drake, Class of 1958
  • Jim Getz, Class of 1958
  • Bill Goodwin, Class of 1956
  • Richard Gross, Class of 1961
  • Anthony Less, Class of 1959
  • Norman McElheny, Class of 1950
  • Jack Ruvolo, Class of 1960
  • Stuart Stearns, Class of 1956
  • Duane Warns, Class of 1961
  • Paul Yackey, Class of 1953
  • William Yackey, Class of 1950

“His personality and his love for his players made the big difference in me coming to Heidelberg. He was just an outstanding person to be around.” – Norm McElheny