Horton hired at Auburn


FAYETTEVILLE — Auburn coach Gus Malzahn completed his staff Friday.

He did so by hiring an Arkansas assistant.

Former Razorbacks running backs coach Tim Horton accepted a position as Auburn’s tight ends coach, ending his six-year tenure with the Hogs.

“Tim is a true professional and an outstanding coach and recruiter, who deserves a lot of credit for Arkansas’ success while he was there,” Malzahn said in an Auburn news release Friday. “Tim is a man of character who will be a great compliment to our staff and a tremendous representative of the entire Auburn family.”

Horton has been the Razorbacks’ running backs coach since 2007, working with three 1,000-yard rushers (Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Knile Davis). The former Arkansas receiver also worked as recruiting coordinator for five years, playing a vital role in helping the Hogs secure recruiting classes that included in-state players like Tyler Wilson, Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Greg Childs.

Horton also was reportedly a candidate for a position at Texas and interviewed for the head coach position at Appalachian State, where he began his coaching career.

He will coach tight ends for the first time since 1992.

“It is an honor and privilege to work at Auburn University with Coach Malzahn and the tremendous group of people and coaches that he’s assembled,” Horton said in an Auburn news release. “My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Auburn family.”

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said on Dec. 22 that Horton, who worked for three different head coaches during his six seasons at Arkansas, was in consideration for a position on his staff. But former Washington assistant Joel Thomas was hired as running backs coach a day later, leaving just one opening for an assistant on offense.

Horton will not fill that spot, taking his ties to Arkansas high school football coaches with him to Auburn. He was rated as one of the nation’s top recruiters by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com during his tenure with the Razorbacks and was credited for helping Arkansas hold onto in-state prospects when the program underwent the coaching change from Houston Nutt to Bobby Petrino after the 2007 season.

Bielema has retained two assistants from the 2012 staff, though. Assistant head coach/linebackers coach Taver Johnson will now work as cornerbacks coach on Bielema’s staff. Defensive assistant Bobby Allen, who spent 15 years on the staff, has moved to an administrative role as the program’s director of high school relations.

Arkansas is expected to fill its final spot soon, while Horton moves into his new role.

“Thank you to players, coaches, teammates, media and fans for 10 great years at UA. Proud Arkansan! Thrilled to be going to Auburn! #GoHogs” Horton said via Twitter.