The 2009 and 2010 Conference USA Coach of the Year, John Thomas Horton wasted little time in re-establishing the Tulane women's golf program as the top team in Conference USA as well as a national contender. Since his arrival, Horton has led Tulane to consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championships, two NCAA Regional showings, back-to-back Conference USA Championships and to five tournament titles, and three of his current players have each claimed an individual title.
Horton's second year mirrored the success of his rookie season. Last year, he led the Wave to its second straight C-USA Championships and a return trip into the NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships, where his team posted an 18th place finish. His sophomore season as a head coach has also featured a pair of team titles at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge and a repeat performance at the Ole Miss Rebel Intercollegiate, and once again he had the Green Wave perched atop the standings as the top-ranked team in Conference USA.
Under his leadership, five Green Wave players were named to the 2010 All-Conference USA teams, including three to the first team, and for the second straight season he has coached the C-USA Player of the Year with Janine Fellows' Co-Player of the Year selection.
Off the course, six of his seven players are either members of the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, earned the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal or is a member of Tulane's 3.0 Club. The group has also participated in numerous community service activities.
In his first year, he led the Green Wave to two tournament titles, including the C-USA Championship and the Ole Miss Lady Rebel Intercollegiate, a fifth place finish at the NCAA East Regional and guided Tulane to a 20th-place finish at the 2009 NCAA National Championships.
During his rookie season at Tulane, five of his six first-year players were named to All C-USA first, second or third teams, and Linn Gustafsson was tabbed the Conference USA Player and Newcomer of the Year while freshman Daniela Holmqvist captured the C-USA championship individual medalist honors en route to earning the league's Freshman of the Year honors.
Horton was named the head women's golf coach at Tulane on July 4, 2007, and inherits the challenge of returning the Green Wave to among the nation's elite programs.
A two-time All-America as a student-athlete at Berry College in Rome, Ga., (1995-99), Horton joined the Green Wave family following two years at Georgia Southern where he served as an assistant coach for the Eagles' men's golf program.
He inherited a program that before being suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Fall 2005 advanced to five NCAA Regionals from 2000-05. In addition, the team advanced to the 2005 NCAA National Championships where the team finished 15th.
While at GSU, Horton helped the Eagles win the 2006 Southern Conference Championship, where all five Eagle golfers finished in the Top 25 individually and the team won the title by 12 strokes over College of Charleston. The team also advanced to the NCAA East Regionals finishing one spot out of qualifying for NCAA National Championship. During the 2006-07season, GSU postedfour top five team finishes including a runner-up showing at the SoCon Championship.
During his two seasons in Statesboro, Ga., Horton coached Jonathan Shaw who earned Academic All-America honors in 2006 and played an integral role in J.D. Kennedy, Drew Bowen, and Bryan Jones claiming All-Southern Conference honors. As the program's lead recruiter, Horton helped Georgia Southern ink one of the top recruiting classes in school history in 2007. He also oversaw the team's player development, workouts and physical conditioning, as well as serving as the liaison to the director of student-athlete services for academic progress.
A four-year letterman at Berry College, Horton was a first-team NAIA All-America as both a junior and senior and claimed first-team All-TranSouth Conference honors all four years. He helped the Vikings win the conference title from 1996-1999 and capped off his career as a member of the NAIA National Championship team in 1998.
Individually, Horton won six collegiate tournaments, including TranSouth Conference medalist honors in 1997 and 1998. He was selected to represent the U.S. in the 1998 World University Golf Games in San Lameer, South Africa.
No stranger to balancing academics and athletics, Horton graduated with a business degree and earned all-TranSouth Conference Scholar Athlete honors in 1998 and 1999.
Following his successful collegiate career, Horton played professionally on several mini-tours for five years. In 2002, he won his first professional event, The Harbor Club Classic Championship, on the DP Tour with a 19-under par 269 (63-70-71-65). He was an exempt member of the NGA Hooters tour from 2000-2004 and reached the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School in 2000 and 2001.
As a pro, Horton worked with renowned golf instructors Rob Akins, Todd Anderson and Dave Pelz, as well as sports psychologists Dr. Rick Jensen and Dr. Jack Llewellyn, and fitness guru Randy Myers.
Prior to joining the GSU staff, he served as the head golf professional and assistant general manager at Horseleg Plantation County Club (Rome, Ga.). At Horseleg, Horton managed all golf operations and assisted the general manager in supervising department heads and employees for golf, swimming, tennis and fitness. Horton developed and oversaw a Ladies Golf Association and Junior Golf Academy in addition to managing the Men's and Senior's Golf Associations.
A native of Clayton, Ga., Horton completed his bachelor's degree from Berry in 1999. He is married to the former Sydnie Brianne Ruland of Rome, Ga., and is a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Two NCAA Championships Appearances
Two NCAA Regional Appearances
Two Conference USA Titles
Five Team Titles
15 Top-10 Finishes
Two-time Conference USA Coach of the Year
Two C-USA Players of the Year
Six All C-USA Honorees
One Louisiana Player of the Year