Truman State University director of athletics, Jerry Wollmering, has announced the hiring of Jeff Horner as the next Head Coach of the Bulldog Men’s Basketball program. The former standout point guard at the University of Iowa (2002-06) comes to Kirksville after a successful four-year run at Division I University of North Dakota of the Big Sky Conference. There, Horner served as the director of operations for one season (2014-15) before three as an assistant coach (2015-18).
“We are excited to have Jeff take over the reins of our men’s basketball program,” said Wollmering. “He has had a ton of success as a player, coach and recruiter that will help continue the tradition that Coach Matt Woodley and Coach Chris Foster have set in place over the past seven seasons.”
Horner graduated from the University of Iowa in 2006 with a degree in communication studies after starting all four years as a member of the Hawkeyes. He capped those four seasons by being named the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as a senior when Iowa defeated Ohio State in the title game. Horner was also a two-time Third-Team All-Big Ten honoree, a two-time team MVP and two-year team captain. To this day, he is still the school’s all-time leader in assists (612) and three-pointers made (262) while his 1,506 career points are just outside the program’s top 10 list.
Horner then made four stops in the professional ranks including Bree, Belgium (2006-07), Paris France (fall 2007), the Iowa Energy of the NBA G League (2007-08), and Antibes, France (2008-09). That would mark the end of his playing career and beginning of his coaching experience.
His first stop was in Des Moines, Iowa at Grand View University of the NAIA for a one-year stint as an assistant coach in 2009-10. The Vikings went 25-9, won the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular season title and postseason tournament, and made an appearance in the Division II NAIA National Tournament.
Horner then went 15 minutes down the road and took over as the head varsity boys coach at West Des Moines Valley High School for three seasons (2011-14). The Mason City, Iowa native racked up a 70-27 record in those three years, led the Tigers to a pair of state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2014, and was twice named the CIML Head Coach of the Year.
Most recently, Horner has spent four years in Grand Forks, North Dakota for the Fighting Hawks of UND. In 2016-17, his third season with the program and second as an assistant coach, the Fighting Hawks made the NCAA Tournament, won the Big Sky Conference Tournament and were Big Sky Conference regular season champions, all of which had never happened in program history.
“I am extremely excited to become a part of the Truman State University family,” said Horner. “It has always been my dream to be a head coach at the collegiate level and Truman State has taken that chance on me. I want to thank athletic director, Jerry Wollmering, and president, Dr. Sue Thomas, for giving me the opportunity to lead the Bulldog men’s basketball program.”
Horner played his high school basketball at Mason City High School for his father, Bob, where he was named Mr. Basketball for the state of Iowa in 2002 and earned a spot in the Iowa High School Hall of Fame in 2014.