Beginning his fourth season as Head Baseball Coach for the Trojans, Scott Hortness and his staff have made recruiting priority number one and expect their efforts to net more than two dozen faces into the program.
"We must have talent and depth to accomplish our goals on the baseball field," said Hortness. "In 2011, we got 'pushed around' pretty good out there and that is acceptable for one season when we are putting the program on a new course. But one year like that is enough."
Hortness is originally from South Dakota, graduating from Parker and playing his amateur baseball in Freeman for more than 15 years. Earning both his bachelor's and master's degrees in teaching from Northern State University, Hortness was a two-time All-District shortstop for the Wolves.
For nine seasons, Hortness was the pitching coach at Campbellsville University and helped build the Tigers into one of the top baseball programs in the country. The Tigers won four conference titles and six tournament championships. In 2009, Campbellsville went to the NAIA College World Series and had one of their pitchers featured on ESPN.
"Provided with the necessary resources, we can build the same type of program here at Dakota State University," stated Hortness.
Hortness is an instructor in the College of Education at Dakota State University and resides in Madison.
Eric Hortness enters his fourth year in a row and tenth year overall at DSU as the assistant baseball coach. He was the assistant baseball coach under former DSU head coach Pat Dolan from 2002-2007. In 2003 and 2005, the Trojans won the NAIA Region III Tournament and advanced to the NAIA Central Plains Super Regionals. During his first tenure at Dakota State, the Trojans were nationally ranked all five seasons. During those seasons, DSU won 158 games. In 2007, the Trojans reached as high as No. 7 in the NAIA Baseball national poll and finished with a DSU school record of 39 wins.
Hortness played four years at Hastings College in Hastings, Neb., where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. In those four years, the Broncos captured the conference regular-season title three times and won the conference tournament twice. He has coached all levels including state championships in American Legion and high school teams.
Hortness lives in Madison with his wife, Desiree, and step-son Aspen. They also have four dogs (Falon, Dodger, Amira and Ed) and three fish (Homer, Shortstop and Slider).