Former Iowa standout and Mason City High School graduate, Jeff Horner, won a conference championship and defeated cancer this past season as the coach at Truman State. Horner underwent several months of chemotherapy as the Bulldogs improved from 14-15 his first season at the helm to 23-8 this past season.
Horner was named Iowa Mr. Basketball in 2002 while playing for his hall of fame father, Bob, at Mason City. In 2014 Horner earned his own spot in the Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Fame. In his junior and senior years, Horner helped Mason City to a pair of state appearances. In his senior season, Horner averaged 31.2 points, 18.7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game, leading the Mohawks to a 21-2 overall record.
Following his overseas and D-League (now G-League) pro career, Horner started coaching. His coaching career starting at NAIA Grand View University on the east side of Des Moines in 2009-2010. Following that season he took over as the Head Coach at West Des Moines Valley High School. He took the rains and coach the Tigers from 2011-2014. From 2014-2018 he worked for North Dakota University as both an assistant coach and director of basketball operations during his time. In 2018 he was introduced as the new Truman State University Head Coach.
The Bulldogs struggled out of the gate this season to a 6-5 record, but Truman State turned it on to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship.
They were awarded a bid into the Division II NCAA Tournament as the #2 seed in the Midwest Region before the tournament was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Horner announced in late August he was battling testicular cancer and he was proud of the way his players handled it.
With his treatment behind him, Horner says he gets regular scans to make sure he’s cancer-free.
Radio Iowa contributed to this article
Zarren Egesdal is the KIOW/KHAM Sports Director. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-585-1073