Among the new faces on the De Queen school staff for the upcoming year will be one young one. Darren Horn, a native of Glenwood, is the latest addition to the Leopard coaching staff.
Horn is a graduate of Centerpoint High School and Arkansas Tech University where he majored in social studies education and earned his coaching credentials. He interned at Murfreesboro last fall and stayed on as a long term substitute.
Horn was a three sport athlete in high school.
“I played linebacker in football. I was mostly a forward in basketball, and I played centerfield in baseball,” Horn recalled. “My favorite was football.”
Horn noted that his father, Kerry, is a long time member of the Centerpoint school board and education was always a priority in the household.
The younger Horn had decided he wanted to coach before he began college. “My senior year of high school, I spent a lot of time helping coaches. This relationship with them got me into wanting to do it as a career,” he said. “Before I decided on coaching, I was thinking about athletic training. I knew I’d be working around sports some way.”
He cited Centerpoint coaches Kevin Bright and Brian Bock as strong influences.
He applied for the De Queen vacancy for several reasons. One is that he had heard good things about the school on the coaching grapevine. In addition, “I have family that lives in De Queen. Also, I recently became engaged. Being in De Queen, I’ll be closer to my fiancee and her family,” Horn said.
His coaching duties for the Leopards will include being an assistant for football and senior girls track and field well as the junior boys basketball coach.
In football he will coach the defensive backs. “I coached the secondary for three years as a volunteer at Centerpoint,” he said. “I think I have more of an offensive mind, but that should help me with coverages and getting the secondary to play good defense.”
On the basketball court, Horn believes in speed. “We are going to do run and gun, uptempo, not hesitating to take open shots,” he explained. “We’ll have to be in shape. I’ll probably rotate several players to keep fresh legs in the game. I value not turning the ball over and getting good shots -- lay-ups if we run the floor.
“We will probably play mostly man defense. Do a little pressing the ball and try to force turnovers.”
Horn noted attitude plays a big role. “A kid who will hustle and give 100 percent effort will probably get more playing time than someone who is more skilled, but who doesn’t want to play with intensity, play hard,” he said.
When he has time, Horn likes to golf. “I really like to do just about any kind of sport or game where you compete,” he said.
Another hobby is spray paint art, for which he has won awards at the Caddo River Festival art competition which attracts a sizeable number of artists.
He is a member of Glenwood Church of Christ and plans to attend De Queen Church of Christ when he relocates.
Relocating is one of his concerns during the annual summer athletic dead period. “We’ll be getting into football after the dead weeks. I’m anxious to start working with the kids. I’m ready to get going,” the new coach said. “I’m ready to get started.”