After deciding against putting his name in the hat when the Monroe boys basketball head coaching position was open five years ago, Horner went for it and got it this spring. The school announced on Monday that Horner will replace Nick Wold as the Bearcats next boys head coach.
"I've been thinking about it for a long time and almost went for it five years ago, but the timing wasn't right," said Horner, who was an assistant coach on Wold's staff for the past two years. "This time around I feel I'm in a better position to make the commitment to the program."
Monroe athletic director Brett Wille, who was the Monroe boys basketball coach before Wold, is excited about Horner taking over the program.
"He's one of the best assistants we've ever had," Wille said. "He's been around the program for years and he's been an integral part of the community. He's one of the best teachers at the high school. He's the perfect person to take over."
After being an assistant for five years, this will be Horner's first head coaching job, something that Wille said doesn't bother him.
"I'm not worried about that at all," Wille said of Horner's lack of head coaching experience. "He's run an ASB leadership program and I've watched him do that. His ability to run a program is top notch."
Horner's coaching philosophy can be broken down into four aspects: Care for the kids, competition, camaraderie and the classroom.
"I believe you have to care for each kid more than just a basketball player," Horner said. "And we'll be building in competition into everything we do. We have to compete. It's also that we're building together.
"Lastly you have to break things down and teach things; approach it from a classroom mentality."
Horner, who said he'll be trying to retain a large portion of the coaching staff from last year, including James MacIntyre, has big shoes to fill. Wold resigned as the Monroe boys basketball coach on April 18 after five years as the head coach. Under Wold the Bearcats made the 4A District 1 playoffs each of the past three seasons and in 2011 were co-Wesco 4A North champions with Arlington. They also advanced to the 4A state tournament that same season, their first in 17 years.
"It's like that Russell Wilson quote: Separation through preparation," Horner said of what he learned from Wold. "Nick was extremely prepared as a coach, not only his own team but who they were playing against."
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