Darrin Horn Named Northern Kentucky Men's Basketball Coach

The new head coach of Northern Kentucky men's basketball is Darrin Horn.

Horn is a native of Glasgow, Ky., and was previously head coach at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, where he played from 1991 to 1995, and South Carolina. He comes to Highland Heights after serving as an assistant coach at Texas.

 A press conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, athletic director Ken Bothof said.

“It’s a thrill for me to be named the head coach at Northern Kentucky,” said Horn. “It was a job I’ve had my eye on for a while now. There is great momentum and energy surrounding both the basketball program and University. Norse Basketball is a winning program with players who know what it takes to win. I am impressed with the vision that both Ken (Bothof) and President (Ashish) Vaidya have for the program and University. My family and I can’t wait to join the Norse family and Northern Kentucky community.”

Horn replaces John Brannen, who left NKU to become head coach at Cincinnati after four seasons. Under Brannen, NKU finished its transition to NCAA Division I, qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice, the NIT once, and won two Horizon League tournament titles. The Norse finished 26-8 in 2019, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual national runner-up Texas Tech.

“I am pleased to welcome Darrin, along with his wife Carla and children Caroline and Walker, to Northern Kentucky University,” said Bothof. “Throughout the hiring process, it became clear that Darrin was the right fit to lead the Norse men’s basketball program. Not only does he have ties to Kentucky from his prep and collegiate playing days, but he’s also been a successful head coach at Western Kentucky.”

At Western Kentucky, where he was head coach from 2003 to 2008, Horn compiled a 111-48 record, including a Sweet 16 appearance and a 29-7 record in 2008. He had less success at South Carolina, where he went 60-63 in four seasons and was fired.

Horn has served as an assistant under head coach Shaka Smart since 2015.

“I’m very excited for Darrin and his family about this terrific opportunity," Smart said in a statement. "Over the past four years, he’s been a valuable asset to our program and impacted our team and staff in many ways. We are extremely grateful for all that Darrin has done at UT and will follow his success at Northern Kentucky with great excitement.”

Horn was named the associate head coach at Texas last season. The Longhorns won the NIT.

During his time as a player, Horn was a part of four 20-win seasons, two Sun Belt Conference championships and a pair of Sun Belt Tournament Titles. He amassed 1,115 points and 139 steals in his career and is one of three players to help the Hilltoppers reach national postseason play in four consecutive years with one NIT appearance and three NCAA Tournament berths.

-Staff report

Photo: Darrin Horn (via Wiki Commons)