BOONEVILLE – One of the most entertaining athletes in NFL history will be on the sidelines for Northeast Mississippi Community College this fall.
Joe Horn, who rose to prominence as a four-time Pro Bowler for the New Orleans Saints, has joined the Tigers’ staff as wide receivers coach.
“I grew up watching Joe play as a Saints fan and to be able to coach with him is an honor,” said Northeast head coach Ricky Smither. “He’s a guy that’s seen just about everything. He relates well with the kids and is a pleasure to be around.”
Horn, 42, was born in Tupelo, played high school ball in North Carolina and then two seasons (1991-92) at Itawamba Community College before a 12-year NFL career.
He’s eager to lend his expertise to the Tigers.
“Once I got around the receivers and I saw that coach Smither could need a little help, I was here,” Horn said. “It’s been exciting so far. As a coach, to see what you’re telling them transpire on the field in practices is awesome.”
Horn’s path to the professional level was anything but ordinary. After not playing a down of football for over two years after leaving ICC, Horn purchased a Jerry Rice workout tape with some of his dwindling savings and meticulously studied the moves of the future NFL Hall of Famer.
In 1995, he joined the Memphis Mad Dogs of the Canadian Football League and finished with 71 catches for 1,415 yards.
The next year, he was a fifth-round pick of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and spent four years there before joining the Saints in 2000.
With the Saints
His seven seasons in New Orleans saw him register 523 catches, 7,622 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns – all among the franchise’s leading career totals.
He wrapped up his career in 2007 with a single season playing for the Atlanta Falcons. He finished his NFL career with 603 catches for 8,744 yards and 58 TDs.
Northeast opens its season on Aug. 28 at Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Tigers will visit Horn’s alma mater, ICC, on Oct. 9.
“There’s no way this school can’t go to a bowl game if they believe within their hearts,” Horn said of the Tigers. “I’m excited to see how we’ll be.”