Hoeppner was a 1969 graduate of Franklin College, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta international fraternity. He owned a 57–39 overall record as a collegiate head coach. He is a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Terry and Jane Hoeppner had three children: Drew Hoeppner, Amy Fox and Allison Hoeppner. Allison Hoeppner was killed in an automobile accident on September 24, 2016.
Hoeppner played for the Detroit Wheels and the Charlotte Hornets of the World Football League for one season each. He was also invited to training camps for the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, but never made either active roster.
Terry was a head coach of Eastbrook High School in Marion, Indiana (1970–1972), Pinson Valley High School in Pinson, Alabama (1973-1976), Mullins High School in Mullins, South Carolina (1976–1978) and East Noble High School in Kendallville, Indiana (1979).
Hoeppner's first job as an assistant coach was at his alma mater, Franklin College, where he served as defensive coordinator. He spent six years there before moving to Miami University as a linebacker coach in 1986. After 12 years, Hoeppner worked his way up to assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. He was also able to retain his positions after head coach Tim Rose was replaced prior to the 1990 season by the late Randy Walker. Hoeppner was instrumental in the development of several NFL players, including JoJuan Armour, Dustin Cohen, and Sheldon White.
After spending 13 years as an assistant at Miami, Hoeppner became the RedHawks' 31st head coach in 1999. He succeeded Walker, who was named head coach at Northwestern. Hoeppner's first game at Miami was against Walker and the Wildcats, which resulted in a 28–3 Miami victory. Despite the win, his first year was considered by some to be a disappointment. The RedHawks were coming off a 10–1 season, and returned several starters including record-breaking running back Travis Prentice, but were only able to post a 7–4 record. The dropoff was attributed in part to Hoeppner's installation of an open passing attack, rather than the running game Walker had used in the past. The change ended up paying dividends later, as Miami earned a 48–25 overall record under Hoeppner and finished among the top three in the Mid-American Conference East in each of his six years at the helm. While at Miami, Hoeppner recruited and signed Ben Roethlisberger by promising to play him at quarterback, whereas other programs were recruiting Roethlisberger as a wide receiver or a tight end.  Roethlisberger went on to achieve great success in the NFL as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hoeppner's best season was 2003 when Miami, quarterbacked by Roethlisberger, went 13–1 and finished #10 in the final AP Poll..
During his first year as head coach at Indiana University, Hoeppner tried to resurrect life into the program through his campaign entitled "Coach Hoeppner wants you." Hoeppner and the Hoosiers began the season 4–1 before losing their last six games. After the season, Hoeppner was diagnosed with a brain tumor The following year, the Hoosiers once again started strong, but eventually fell one game short of Hoeppner's goal of reaching a college bowl berth. His oft quoted mantra was "Play 13." In 2007, the inspired Hoosiers succeeded in Hoeppner's goal and became eligible to participate in the Insight Bowl.
In September 2006, Hoeppner required additional brain surgery, causing him to miss two weeks of the regular season. He returned to the team to coach against Wisconsin.
On March 18, 2007, it was revealed that he would sit out the 2007 spring practices due to health reasons. IU announced in June 2007 that Hoeppner would be on a medical leave of absence for the entire 2007 season and that assistant coach Bill Lynch would serve as head coach. Shortly after the announcement, Hoeppner died from complications from his brain cancer.
Assistant coaches under Terry Hoeppner who became NCAA head coaches:Bill Lynch: Indiana (2007–2010), DePauw (2013–present)
Shane Montgomery: Miami (OH) (2005–2008)
Pat Narduzzi: Pitt (2015–present)