Acclaimed high school basketball coach Herbert Horton, who spent 24 years as head coach of the Gilmer High School Lady Bobcats in Ellijay, Ga., has accepted the head coaching position for the Coffee County Central High School Lady Raiders.
CHS athletic director Richard Skipper confirmed Thursday that Horton had been given and accepted the offer to come to CHS.
“We feel very fortunate. We’re talking about somebody coming to our community with 30, 40 years experience,” Skipper said. “We think it’s a great opportunity, and we’re fortunate he accepted.
Horton retired at the end of this season after 24 years as head coach. In those years Horton compiled a 368-227 record, was region coach of the year three times and led his team to the Georgia state tournament eight times. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he has coached for a total of 34 years.
Horton replaces David Muckle, who retired in February after five years as head coach of the Lady Raiders. Muckle will remain at CHS as a teacher.
According to the Ellijay Times-Courier, Horton spent 36 years in education in Georgia, including two separate stints as girls basketball coach at Gilmer: first from 1978 to 1993 and again from 2005 through 2013. He resigned from coaching at Gilmer at the end of February.
According to Skipper, the demographics of Coffee County are very similar to those in Ellijay and offer a good home for Horton–who is originally from Tennessee–and his family. Skipper also said quality of facilities, the quality of athletes in the girls basketball program and the relationships at CHS were factors in Horton’s decision.
“I feel like we’ve got as good kids as anywhere in the state,” Skipper said. Not only did they offer Horton a job, “We offered for him to be part of a family.