Horne leaves Chowan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2005

MURFREESBORO – Chowan College’s most successful coach is moving to D-I.

Women’s Soccer Coach Stuart Horne has announced he is leaving the Braves to become the assistant coach at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-I Elon University.

&uot;Obviously, this is a great opportunity,&uot; Horne said. &uot;I always follow all the job changes and every Division I head coach was hired from a D-I assistant job or was already a D-I head coach. Having that D-I experience will be huge.

&uot;Also, it’s a great opportunity for my family,&uot; he said. &uot;I will be able to spend more time with my child and will be able to be with my wife more and that was important to me.&uot;

When Horne took over the Chowan soccer program, it was little more than a D-III victory for their opponents. In the years since the program was inaugurated, more than one coach had tried to build something to no avail.

Horne changed all that when he took over the program. After four year, the Lady Braves were one of the best teams in the D-III ranks of the NCAA and finished third in the National Christian College Athletic Association national finals.

&uot;Forty years from now when I’m on an island retired, I think my memories will be that we were able to put women’s soccer on the map at Chowan College,&uot; Horne said. &uot;I say that meaning that from what I inherited to where we’re at, we’ve accomplished a lot.

&uot;We’re competing against nationally ranked teams,&uot; he continued. &uot;People in the soccer world know there’s a college in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Probably when I look back, I’ll be most proud that people know there’s a women’s soccer program at Chowan – and a good one.&uot;

As Horne prepares for another rebuilding opportunity at Elon, he is leaving his successor a ready-made winner in Murfreesboro. Every single All-Region player and All-State player will return for the Braves who have two seniors and eight rising sophomores coming back as well as a decent recruiting class.

&uot;It’s probably the best opportunity they are ever going to have taking over a program,&uot; Horne said. &uot;It would take a real idiot to come in and screw this up.&uot;

Horne said the schedule was set with some big-time teams on the slate and that the team members would be returning.

&uot;All they have to do is worry about setting up the preseason and ordering equipment,&uot; Horne said. &uot;Everything else is already set.&uot;

That team is the downside of leaving, according to the coach.

&uot;They knew before they went home for the break,&uot; Horne said. &uot;I talked to them individually and told them the situation. At first, they were sad, but then when I broke it down for them, they understood.&uot;

The coach said he would miss his team and the people he worked with.

&uot;I have a really good group of kids,&uot; Horne said. &uot;I’m going to miss them and I’m going to miss the people I work with. There are a lot of good people at the school.&uot;