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Former Hawkeye player Jeff Horner fights through cancer diagnosis, succeeds as a head coach at Truman State

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:04 PM CST
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KIRKSVILLE, Missouri (KCRG) - Jeff Horner has had a rollercoaster of a post-college experience.

After four years as a starter at Iowa, he had an injury-plagued pro career, and a job in medical sales. Then, he took up coaching.

“You can probably tell by the way I coach, I’m a pretty intense guy,” Horner said. “Sometimes my hardest thing is, I played so hard back in the day, so I have to harness that a little bit.”

Four years ago Truman state offered Horner the head coaching job.

Two seasons ago Horner’s toughness was tested in a different way. he found out he had testicular cancer. Despite seven hours of chemotherapy five days a week, Horner continued his coaching duties the best he could.

“It was definitely hard, but in the same sense it motivated the guys,” Horner said. “Hopefully them seeing me at practice after seven hours of chemo was something they could look at and say ‘basketball is not the most important thing in life. We can go hard and do things for coach.’”

Although the treatments were successful, it has been a long road back, and Horner says he still struggles with energy at times.

“In the end it has given me a better perspective on life and it has made me see things in a different light and try not to take things so seriously,” Horner said.

As far as coaching is concerned, Horner led the bulldogs to the NCAA Divison II Elite 8 last year.

“i would like to coach at the highest level but in same sense, i love it here at Truman state.”

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