Mike Hoffman surprised by family, honored at Purdue football game

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WNDU) - The surprises continued this weekend for the “nicest man in Michiana,” Chief Meteorologist Mike Hoffman, who will retire next week after serving viewers in Michigan and Indiana for 37 years.

At Saturday’s Old Oaken Bucket game, Mike and his wife, Cindy, were guests of former Indiana Governor and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels; Daniels surprised Mike with an on-air invite to the game on Tuesday.

What Mike didn’t know is the university invited his children, Kara and Christopher, along with their families, to surprise their dad during the second quarter. On the field, a Purdue University official bestowed upon Mike the Distinguished Boilermaker Award, the highest alumni honor.

Mike’s children - also Purdue grads - live out of town but wanted to make their respective trips to West Lafayette this weekend, in part to recognize Mike’s service to the community.

“Family is everything, and I credit the person I am today to the way he raised me,” said Christopher, who is based in Denver. “I don’t think I would be in the position I am today if it weren’t for him.”

Mike said seeing his family made him emotional.

“I’m standing down there on the field with my wife, all of a sudden, my whole family walks up. Pretty cool,” remarked Mike.

The PA announcer listed Mike’s various achievements, including being credited for saving countless lives for his in-depth tracking of the devastating 2007 Nappanee tornado.

“It’s amazing, ‘cause growing up, watching him when there was a severe thunderstorm or tornadoes, even though he wasn’t there for us in the house, he was there for us,” said Christopher, “and to know he was there for other people in the community as well, that’s special.”

Gracious, Mike added helping the community during the tornado was a team effort.

“I’ve always thought our audience is the most important reason that we do what we do. And I’ve had so many people come up and say, you know, how they’re gonna, gonna miss me. Matt, Matt, and Andrew are great – and they’re gonna take it from here. But I’ve been lucky to have a career like this,” Mike said.

Cindy Hoffman - Mike’s wife, who also was “in” on the Saturday surprise - said she is proud of the man Mike has become.

“I feel that Mike has always given 110 percent for his job and for those that he works for,” said Cindy. “I think that he has been a good role model for, for a lot of young kids. And it’s neat to have interns come back and tell Mike what they’re doing with their lives, whether it be in weather or what.”

The Boilermaker band also let Mike take a few swings at its historic bass drum, known as the “World’s Largest Drum.”

Mike’s on-field ceremony at Ross-Ade Stadium will be posted to the WNDU social media platforms on Sunday evening.

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