When Abby Hornacek was growing up she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. Working as a host on TV was something she never considered as a career path until she was much older. “I was extremely show growing up,” Abby says. “… I played sports from a young age and through college. One day I started thinking, ‘If I’m not going to play sports for a living after I graduate college, then why not talk about sports for a living?’”
With this thought, Abby began her broadcast career while still in college. She interned at FOX Sports 1, worked as a feature reporter for FOX Sports West and NBA Summer League, and was a host and sideline reporter for Drone Racing League and World Arm Wrestling League on ESPN, and host of a show called San Diego Prep Insiders for a couple of years on FOX Sports San Diego. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Abby took a job with 120 Sports (now called Stadium) as host of their live shows.
Now Abby is FOX Nation’s travel and lifestyle host. You can see her on PARK’D with Abby Hornacek, American Arenas and The Ride to Work Series. This Wednesday, Nov. 6, Abby will take part in the first-ever FOX Nation Patriot Awards, where she will be hosting the red carpet.
With such a thrilling career, this self-proclaimed “adrenaline junkie” has brought fun and exciting content across FOX Nation. Abby credits her mom and dad for helping her follow her dream job. “My parents were influential in encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace the challenge of doing something I was passionate about, even if it made me uncomfortable.”
What is it like to work at FOX?
It’s a dream come true. I’m constantly surrounded by some of the most genuine and intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. My days are filled with engaging conversations with coworkers who are inquisitive, caring and a joy to be around. The opportunities FOX has given me are all passions of mine that enrich my love of nature, travel and sports. I’m very blessed!
What is your favorite part of hosting PARK’D with Abby Hornacek, American Arenas and The Ride To Work Series?
My favorite part of hosting these shows is that it never feels like work. Sometimes I’ll wake up and walk outside while I’m at a National Park just to take in the serenity. Every time I say out loud, “Abby, count your blessings, because this is your job.” I feel that gratitude for every one of my shows because they cover topics I’m interested in. I have the luxury of working with incredible personalities, while also being able to showcase my own.
What are some of your most memorable assignments covering travel and lifestyle?
There are so many! One of my most memorable moments was traveling to Zion National Park. I lived in Utah for 10 years and I felt like I was, in a sense, returning home. The sheer verticality of the sandstone cliffs that define this National Park is just one of the many reasons Zion sticks out. I was able to mountain bike (I’m embarrassed to say I wiped out…made for good TV though!) repel, canyoneer, hike, you name it!
Covering the UT-OU game (aka the Red River Showdown) at the Cotton Bowl for American Arenas also stands out. The energy you can feel from the crowd, mixed with the excitement of the State Fair of Texas, is unmatched.
We heard you are going to be a part of the first-ever FOX Nation Patriot Awards. What will your involvement include?
Yes! I will be hosting the red carpet at the awards. I’m extremely honored to be a part of such an incredible cause that honors America’s military veterans, first responders and every day heroes. I love the fact the proceeds go to the Folds of Honor Foundation. I’m really looking forward to it.
What is something surprising that you think the average person might not realize about your job?
Each show involves a lot more “go-with-the-flow” than you would think. While we do have a loose plan, many times, we’ll think of more ideas on the fly. I try not to memorize anything, but I’ll do a lot of research prior to a show.
Your dad, Jeff Hornacek, is a household name in basketball. What did you learn from him about pursuing goals that you bring into your job today?
My dad is the hardest-working person I know. My mom told me that while he was in college, when the other players were going home to play Atari, my dad was going to the gym to practice. When he was a coach, he would come home after games and rewatch them while taking notes until 3 or 4 a.m. Hearing those stories and witnessing his work ethic is something I learned to apply when pursuing my own goals. My mom always told us growing up, “You are completely capable of achieving any dream you have. If you don’t have the tools, go get the tools.” My dad showed exactly what it takes to get those tools.
What is a goal you are looking to achieve next?
I want to start my own charity! I feel so fulfilled in my job with the opportunities I’ve been able to pursue. I really want to start working with young girls to achieve their goals or help make life easier for people with disabilities. I’m also writing a book! It’s in its very early stages, but I’m enjoying that process.
What advice do you have for others interested in pursuing an on-air reporting career?
I think the biggest goal for anyone pursuing an on-air reporting career is to always remain authentically yourself and know your information. As long as you’re basing any opinion or report on facts and presenting it in a way you would to your friends or family, then people will be drawn to both the information and you as a personality.
I’d love to have coffee with:
The books on my nightstand are:
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, Our National Parks by John Muir and Wooden by John Wooden
My current favorite saying is:
“Be the book people want to read.” (This is an original quote my mom would tell me growing up.)
The thing I miss most about Phoenix is:
My favorite way to spend my day off is:
Walking to my favorite coffee shop after waking up, reading my book, going to a boxing class, grabbing lunch/dinner with a friend and then hitting up Dave & Busters at night.
One lesson I’ve learned lately is:
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. It’s up to you what you do with yours. (This is a quote I stole from my mom.) Also, if you hear running water in your bathroom, it’s probably not the faucet. It’s because your neighbors’ toilet above you overflowed!
I can’t live without:
I feel my best when:
I’m with family, playing sports or playing the banjo.