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Darrin Horn selected as basketball head coach at NKU; spent past four seasons as assistant at Texas

NKyTribune staff

Darrin Horn has been selected as the men’s basketball head coach at Northern Kentucky University, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday night. Horn replaces John Brannen, who accepted the coaching position at the University of Cincinnati last week.

Horn, a native of Glasgow, Ky., arrives at NKU after spending the past four seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Texas. During his first three years as an assistant coach for the Longhorns, Horn had primary responsibility for the development of the Texas frontcourt players.

Darrin Horn

Under his guidance, Mohamed Bamba (No. 6 pick in 2018, Orlando Magic) and Jarrett Allen (No. 22 pick in 2017, Brooklyn Nets) made significant improvement during their respective freshman seasons and were NBA Draft first-round selections.

Prior to Texas, Horn spent four years as the head coach at South Carolina (2008-12), recording a 60-63 (.488) overall mark and leading the Gamecocks to one NIT appearance. In his first season (2008-09), he led South Carolina to a 21-10 mark and a Southeastern Conference Eastern Division Co-Championship with a 10-6 league record. The Gamecocks recorded their first 20-win season and made their first postseason appearance (NIT first round) since 2005-06.

Horn also served as head coach at Western Kentucky, his alma mater, for five years (2003-08). He guided the Hilltoppers to a 111-48 (.698) overall mark, highlighted by a 29-7 record, Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles, and a trip to the NCAA “Sweet 16” in 2007-08. The 29 wins tied the school record for a single season. The No. 12 seed Hilltoppers posted victories against fifth-seeded Drake and 13th-seeded San Diego in the first two rounds before falling in the regional semifinals to top-seed and eventual semifinalist UCLA.

Horn was a four-time letterwinner and three-year starter at guard for Western Kentucky (1991-95). He helped lead the Hilltoppers to four consecutive 20-win seasons, two Sun Belt Conference championships and a pair of Sun Belt Tournament titles. Horn was one of three players to aid WKU in reaching national postseason play in four consecutive seasons, a first in school history, as the Hilltoppers played in the 1992 NIT and followed with three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

While playing at Western Kentucky, Horn recorded career totals of 1,115 points and 139 steals, while connecting on 36.7 percent of his 3-point field goal attempts. An All-Sun Belt selection during his senior year (1994-95), he helped the Hilltoppers to a 27-4 record (17-1 Sun Belt), Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships and a NCAA Tournament first-round win against Michigan.

Horn also was tabbed WKU’s “Athlete of the Year” and earned a spot on the GTE Academic All-America third team in 1994-95. The Hilltoppers posted a 26-6 record in Horn’s sophomore season (1992-93) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

Horn inherits an NKU program that has advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice during the past three seasons. The Norse captured Horizon League Tournament championships in 2017 and ’19 to earn automatic bids to Marc Madness.

The Norse also earned an NIT berth in 2018 after winning the Horizon League regular-season championship.

(Information compiled from the University of Texas and staff reports)

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