FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Current Arkansas assistant football coach Tim Horton has been named to new head coach Bobby Petrino’s staff for next season, Petrino announced on Tuesday.
Horton is the running backs coach for the 8-4 Razorbacks this year as they prepare for the Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl against Missouri, but Petrino did not specify what role Horton would have on next year’s staff.
“I’ve hired Tim Horton, which I’m real excited about his relationship throughout the state and being a graduate of Arkansas I think is a major benefit for me,” Petrino says. “(Tim and I) got together one night here and talked about his past and future, and then got busy recruiting. It’s just the right thing to do. It’s the right fit. He’s a guy that should be coaching and working here at the university and he’s going to be a major asset to our football program. We haven’t exactly defined (his role) just yet, but he’s certainly going to be a major part of our staff.”
Horton is a former Razorback who joined the staff on July 18. He is coaching All-America running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones this season. McFadden won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back and each rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the second straight season. McFadden ran for 1,725 yards and 15 touchdowns with averages of 143.8 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry. Jones rushed for 1,117 yards and 11 touchdowns with averages of 93.1 yards per game and 9.1 per attempt.
“I’m excited and honored to be joining Coach Petrino’s staff at Arkansas,” Horton says. “This state and university have always been special to me and my family. I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure here as a player and as an assistant coach. I’m looking forward to moving forward with Coach Petrino.”
Before returning to Arkansas, where Horton played from 1986-89, he was at Air Force for the spring, at Kansas State for the 2006 season and at Air Force for the seven previous years.
“I think it is important to have guys that understand the university, understand the state and how everything works,” Petrino says. “I think the thing I was so impressed with Tim was with the short period of time he’s been coaching here and the relationships he has with the high school coaches in the state, it’s as if he’s been here for 20 years. So that was real impressive to me.”
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.
Prior to his one season at KSU, he spent seven seasons at Air Force (1999-2005). He was the receivers coach for six years and the running backs coach for one.
He worked with former Falcon stars Matt Farmer, Ryan Fleming, Alec Messerall and Jason Brown.
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.
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.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Horton earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing management in 1990. While at Arkansas, he was a four-year letterman and three-year starter as a split end and punt returner for the Razorbacks 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.
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. In fact, 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-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 at Conway (Ark.) High School.
Horton and his wife, Lauren, have one daughter, Caroline, and one son, Jackson. Horton is the son of former Arkansas player, Razorback assistant coach, UCA head coach and current Razorback Foundation vice-president Harold Horton. His father lettered for the Razorbacks in 1960-61 and served on Coach Frank Broyles coaching staff from 1968-76 and Coach Lou Holtz’s coaching staff from 1977-80.