Men’s ski jumping – What will become of national coach Stefan Horngacher?

As of: February 28, 2024 10:42 a.m

While the German ski jumpers are entering the home stretch of the season, the future of national coach Stefan Horngacher remains uncertain.

It’s not often that Stefan Horngacher shows emotions. When Andreas Wellinger won the Four Hills Tournament in Oberstdorf at the end of December, the German ski jumping coach showed a little emotion. “When it really starts, you start feeling tight in the pit of your stomach“, smiled the 54-year-old, only to immediately tackle his core business, error analysis.

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Since his five years as the national coach of the German ski jumpers, Horngacher has been characterized by his calm, sober work. “Stay grounded“, “continue to work meticulously” – His athletes and German ski jumping fans are used to words like these from the Austrian, who is not afraid to put his finger in the wound. However, how long such statements will continue to be heard from him is uncertain.

DSV wants to keep Horngacher at all costs

Horngacher’s contract with the German Ski Association (DSV) expires in April. The Black Forest resident had recently not ruled out an end to his term in office. However, it is no secret that they want to keep him at DSV. “We would like to tie him to the association forever because he is simply a good guy with a lot of technical expertise“, DSV sports director Horst Hüttel Horngacher recently rolled out the red carpet.

Another function in the association would also be conceivable. The main thing is that it remains with the DSV. The national coach himself could apparently also imagine this, even if he has so far held back from making clear declarations of loyalty.

From a technical point of view, Horngacher, who took over the difficult legacy of his compatriot Werner Schuster in 2019, is beyond all doubt. As the Polish national coach, he had already led Kamil Stoch to his old strength and triumph at the Four Hills Tournament in 2018. He hasn’t (yet) succeeded in doing that in Germany, even if Andreas Wellinger gave hope for a long time this winter.

Horngacher rearranges the “store”.

And yet the development in the German team cannot be dismissed. The successes of Wellinger, Pius Paschke and Karl Geiger at the beginning of winter are not least due to his meticulous work. Philipp Raimund has also made it to the top of the world under Horngacher and is considered a great bearer of hope for the future.

Above all, last season, which the DSV Adler ended with a rather poor record, seemed to motivate Horngacher to get more out of the undoubtedly existing potential. Although it was difficult, “Rearrange the store“But the results of the winter show that he succeeded on the whole.

Above all, it is Horngacher’s calm, sociable and professional manner that makes him so important in the German association. A resting heart rate that takes some of the pressure and hustle and bustle away from the athletes.

Trondheim tipping the scales?

That in turn costs at the same time “extremely strong“, emphasized Hüttel. Therefore, conversely, the association will not put any pressure on him. He knows best that Horngacher has exciting tasks waiting for him with the World Championships next year and the Olympic Games in 2026.

Although they don’t want to finally get together until the end of winter to clarify the future, until then Hüttel still has a joker up his sleeve. “We will talk to him in Trondheim, at the venue for next year’s World Cup. Maybe that can trigger something in him.“A successful performance there could also eliminate Horngacher’s last doubts – if he even has them. One thing is certain: “To a certain extent it will also be in his hands“, says Hüttel.