For longtime Southeastern Conference coach Tim Horton, the 2020 season is his second on the Vanderbilt staff, serving as the Commodores’ running backs coach.
Horton has coached in the SEC for well over a decade, serving as the offensive assistant coach at Auburn and Arkansas. During that time, he has coached five SEC Players of the Year and nine all-conference running backs.
In 2019, Horton’s top Vanderbilt pupil Ke’Shawn Vaughn topped the Commodore offense with 1,028 rushing yards, 1,298 all-purpose yards and 1o touchdowns. Vaughn went on to be selected by the Tampa Buccaneers with the 76th overall pick of the NFL Draft.
From 2013-18, Horton served as Auburn’s running backs coach. He also served as the Tigers’ recruiting coordinator in 2015-16. In 2018, the Tiger offense averaged 30.9 points/game, 389.9 total yards and 167.5 rushing yards. Horton’s top pupil last year, JaTarvious Whitlow, earned All-SEC freshman recognition after rushing for 787 yards and six touchdowns.
From 2013-17, Horton coached four running backs that paced the SEC in rushing: Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason (2013), Cameron Artis-Payne (2014), Kamryn Pettway (2016) and Kerryon Johnson (2017). Mason and Johnson both earned SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors during Horton’s tenure.
In 2017, Horton coordinated special teams for the Tigers and coached kicker Daniel Carlson, who was the SEC’s special teams player of the year. Horton became the only assistant in league history to coach the SEC offensive and special teams players of the year in the same season.
From 2007-12, Horton served a similar capacity at the Arkansas where he starred as an undergraduate in the 1980s. At Arkansas, where he was also recruiting coordinator, Horton was one of just two coaches in the nation to coach four different 1,000-yard rushers from 2007-10, including 2007 Doak Walker Award winner Darren McFadden and All-American Felix Jones.
Horton has coached in 13 bowl games, including the 2013 NCAA national championship game.
Horton has also succeeded in preparing running backs for the NFL. Thirteen different running backs coached by Horton have become NFL starters, including McFadden, Jones, Peyton Hillis, Mason, Artis-Payne, Payton Barber and Johnson.
Prior to coaching at Arkansas, Horton spent the 2006 season as running backs coach at Kansas State and wide receivers and running backs coach at Air Force from 1999-2005. He began his coaching career at Appalachian State in 1990, helping the program to a 67-32 record during eight seasons, including Southern Conference championships in 1991 and 1995 and five NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances.
Horton was a four-year letterwinner at Arkansas, starting as a split end and punt returner from 1987-89. As a senior captain, Horton earned second-team All-SWC honors after hauling in 23 catches for 453 yards and serving as the team’s top punt returner. During Horton’s Arkansas playing career, the Razorbacks compiled a 38-11 record, won back-to-back SWC titles (1988-89) and appeared in four straight bowl games.
Horton and his wife, Lauren, are the parents of a daughter, Caroline, and a son, Jackson.
The Horton File
2019-present – Vanderbilt – Running Backs Coach
2013-18 – Auburn – Running Backs Coach
2007-12 – Arkansas – Running Backs Coach
2006 – Kansas State – Running Backs Coach
1999-2005 – Air Force – Wide Receivers and Running Backs Coach
1990-1998 – Appalachian State