Lee Horton walked in the
footsteps of some of North Carolina’s most celebrated
soccer personalities. While playing for Bill Holleman, Lee
was an All-State midfielder and an All-American goalkeeper
at Ravenscroft (Class of ‘74). He lettered at UNC
under the guidance of the legendary Dr. Marvin Allen. During
his senior season he played on the first Carolina team coached
by Anson Dorrance. With that pedigree in place, it is inevitable
that he would experience a career distinguished by service
to others through the game of soccer. He represents the
second generation of prominent figures in North Carolina
soccer folklore. His personal testimonial: “I coach
to affect lives, not to win games.”
Lee Horton’s extraordinary
service and record of achievement as the soccer coach at
Charlotte Latin School, at Greenfield School, for the Charlotte
Lady Eagles, as well as for countless other club youth teams,
has earned him the distinction of being selected as a member
of the tenth class of inductees into the North Carolina
Soccer Hall of Fame on this, the sixth day of January, 2007.
Upon graduation from UNC
(1978) with a B.A. in Physical Education, Horton began his
teaching and coaching career at Greenfield School in Wilson.
In five years at Greenfield, his men’s teams had a
record of 71-21-11 including an appearance in the final
four of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic
Association (NCISAA) state tournament. His women’s
teams compiled a record of 69-13-10 including a trip to
the state finals and another trip to the semi-finals. One
of his fondest memories of his time at Greenfield must surely
be the 0-0 draw achieved by his team in the first game in
which he faced a Ravenscroft men’s team coached by
his mentor, Bill Holleman.
Coach Horton left Greenfield
to enroll in graduate school at Campbell University where
he earned a Masters Degree in Physical Education (1985).
While studying at Campbell, he was a graduate assistant
soccer coach under Tim Morse. It was there, under Morse,
where he learned the benefit of remaining composed and analytical
while coaching the match.
Horton’s next stop
landed him firmly in Charlotte where he has been for the
past twenty-two years. Although his contributions have been
made far and wide, he is most renowned for building and
maintaining the men’s and women’s soccer programs
at Charlotte Latin School. In twenty-two seasons his men‚s
teams have a record of 285-105-42. They have won six NCISAA
State Championships (1987, ‚89, ‚90, ‚92,
2003, ‚04) and have been nationally ranked by the
National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
His twenty-one previous women‚s teams amassed a record
of 272-82-27 and earned three NCISAA Championships (1989,
‚90, ‚93). His fifty-three men’s and women’s
high school teams at Greenfield and Latin have an amazing
cumulative record of 697-221-90!
If that seems like a lot
of games, consider them as just part of his coaching résumé.
Horton has also coached numerous challenge and classic level
club teams for boys and girls. Over time, he has coached
teams in the Charlotte United, Park Sharon, Charlotte Soccer,
Charlotte Eagles, and South Charlotte Soccer Clubs. Since
2000, Horton has been the head coach of the Charlotte Lady
Eagles, an elite amateur team in the W League of the United
Soccer League. In seven seasons the team has a record of
62-13-3 (10-7-2 in the playoffs). The team has earned a
spot in the league playoffs each year, won the W2 National
Championship in 2001, and were runners-up in 2002.
In recognition of his outstanding
contributions, numerous local, statewide, and national Coach-of-the-Year
honors have been bestowed upon Coach Horton. He is a five-time
honoree as Coach-of-the-Year by the North Carolina Soccer
Coaches Association (NCSCA). In 2004 he was named National
Coach-of-the-Year (Private/Parochial Boys) by the NSCAA.
In service to the NSCAA, he now chairs the National High
School Coach-of-the-Year selection committee.
Horton credits his Christian
faith and his loving family as his compass in life and coaching.
"I am who I am as a coach because Christ is my Savior
and because I have an unbelievably supportive family. I’ve
been blessed by having played for Hall of Fame coaches Bill
Holleman, Marvin Allen, and Anson Dorrance, and having worked
with four great mentors in Tim Morse, David Sanford, Brian
Davidson, and Mark Steffens."
Likewise, hundreds of young
men and women have been blessed by their affiliation with
Coach Lee Horton.