Hoffman was born in Hawaii and grew up in Payette, Idaho, played basketball, and attended college at Boise State University. There he was elected as student body president of BSU. He was a cofounder of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (along with Doug Copsey and Victoria Holloway) which is celebrating its 30 year anniversary this year. While at BSU, he served as president of the student body and earned the high honor of Rhodes Scholar, the first BSU alumnus to achieve this honor. While studying at Oriel College, Oxford, he extended his interest in drama by founding the Oxford University Film Foundation, (OUFF), and by making a student film Privileged, which starred a young Hugh Grant.