Horton leaving to coach at Auburn
Tim Horton, who spent the previous six seasons at the University of Arkansas as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator the past five years, has been named as tight ends coach at Auburn, head coach Gus Malzahn announced Friday.
"Tim is a true professional and an outstanding coach and recruiter, who deserves a lot of credit for Arkansas' success while he was there," Malzahn said. "Tim is a man of character who will be a great compliment to our staff and a tremendous representative of the entire Auburn family."
A 23-year coaching veteran, Horton was recognized by Rivals.com and ESPN.com as one of the nation's top recruiters during his tenure at Arkansas and was one of just two coaches in the nation, and the only one in the SEC, to coach four different 1,000-yard rushers from 2007-10. Under his watch, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones earned All-America honors, while Dennis Johnson and Knile Davis earned All-SEC honors.
"It is an honor and privilege to work at Auburn University with Coach Malzahn and the tremendous group of people and coaches that he's assembled," Horton said. "My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Auburn family."
Horton's first class as Arkansas' recruiting coordinator in 2008 featured wide receivers Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Greg Childs, all selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. With their selections, Arkansas tied a draft record with three receivers taken in the same draft. It was the 14th time in draft history, and third by an SEC team, three receivers from the same school were taken in the same draft and the sixth time all three were picked in the first four rounds.
During his six years at Arkansas, Horton coached two of the top four single-season rushing performances and more than a third of the 10 Razorbacks in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards.
This past season under Horton, the duo of Johnson and Davis combined to rush for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns despite being riddled with injuries during the season.
In 2011, Horton helped the Razorbacks tie a school record with 11 wins and, combined with a 10-win season in 2010, marked just the third time in school history and first since 1988-89 UA reached double-digit win totals in back-to-back seasons.
Arkansas led the SEC in total offense in 2011, averaging 438.1 yards per game, for the second time in the previous three seasons, finishing inside the top four in the conference in that category each of the previous five seasons. UA also topped the SEC in scoring offense (36.8 ppg) in 2011.
All-SEC performer Dennis Johnson's 6.3 yards-per-carry average was second among the SEC's top-10 rushers, as he finished seventh in the conference in rushing, and fourth overall in the conference.
Under Horton's tutelage, Davis posted the fourth-highest single-season rushing total in Arkansas history in 2010 as he ran for 1,322 yards and became just the 10th Razorback to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Davis was named a first-team All-SEC performer and led all SEC running backs with his average of 101.7 yards per game on the ground and finished the season with five consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Horton, who played football at Arkansas from 1986-89, returned to his alma mater in 2007, where he coached McFadden and Jones to All-America honors. McFadden was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back in that season. McFadden finished the 2007 season with a school-record 1,830 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He came to Arkansas after taking the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coaching position at Air Force in January 2007. During the 2006 season, he was the running backs coach at Kansas State, helping the Wildcats earn a Texas Bowl appearance. At KSU, Horton coached two future NFL running backs in Thomas Clayton and James Johnson.
Prior to his one season at KSU, he was at Air Force from 1999-2005, serving as the wide receivers coach from 1999-2004 and the running backs coach in 2005. Horton was recognized by the Colorado Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as one of its coaches of the year in 2004.
He began his coaching career at Appalachian State in 1990 and helped guide the Mountaineers to a 67-32 record during his eight years, including Southern Conference championships in 1991 and 1995 and five appearances in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. The 1995 Mountaineers were the first Division I team to go undefeated in North Carolina college football history.
From 1990-92, Horton coached Appalachian State's receivers and tight ends before taking over as the Mountaineers' running backs coach in 1993. He also served as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Horton earned his bachelor's degree in marketing management from Arkansas in 1990. While at Arkansas, he was a four-year letterman and three-year starter as a split end and punt returner under head coach Ken Hatfield. He caught 49 passes for 942 yards and one touchdown in his career, including hauling in 23 catches for 453 yards as a senior in 1989. Horton also returned 78 punts for 657 yards in his collegiate career, which is fifth all-time in school history.
Horton's four years at Arkansas proved to be among the most successful in school history as the Razorbacks compiled a 38-11 record, won back-to-back Southwest Conference titles in 1988 and 1989 and appeared in four straight bowl games. Horton's graduating class remains tied for the school record for the most wins in a four-year period.
A two-time academic all-conference selection, Horton was a second-team All-Southwest Conference selection in 1989 and served as the Razorbacks' team captain that season. In high school, Horton was a two-time all-state running back and a track standout at Conway (Ark.) High School.
Horton and his wife Lauren have one daughter, Caroline, and one son, Jackson.