Editor’s note: Smitty Horton succeeds Kathy Perri, who retires as athletic director with some successes worth noting. Since Perri became a.d. in 2002, Colonials teams have won 38 conference championships, 22 county titles, 18 state sectional crowns and eight state championships. Ten students have become academic All-Americans, and four coaches have been inducted into the NJSIAA Hall of Fame. Turf was installed at the football field, the field house was dedicated, a new softball field was built at Frelinghuysen Middle School and a Hall of Fame gallery for MHS athletes was established.
By Tim Heaton
MorristownGreen.com -Tell me about where you grew up?
Smitty Horton– I grew up in Bristol PA outside of northeast Philadelphia.
MG – Your favorite teachers and coaches?
SH – I respected all of my teachers and coaches in High School, but would have to say my football coach, Broadus Davis, was my favorite. I spent the most time with him.
MG – College major and sports?
SH– West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Health and Physical Education major. Played running back for the football team.
MG – What inspired you to teach and coach?
SH – My roommate in college inspired me to teach. Ironically, he is now a full-time fireman. And my high school football coach also supported me in my decision to teach.
MG– What is your primary goal as AD?
SH– Provide our student athletes with the best academic and athletic support possible, work hard to help our student-athletes get into college, and help to teach our student-athletes the benefits of sportsmanship and competition.
MG– Message to all the parents and community?
SH– Morristown is a great place for athletics and academics. I appreciate all of the hard work our parents provide to support our programs and look forward to success in our future.
MG– Your philosophy of student athletics?
SH – My philosophy of athletics is very basic. The more student-athletes we have, the better we are as a school. Athletics help to prepare our students for their future. They learn the value of hard work and perseverance. They learn to work as a team and set goals. They also learn the importance of being responsible and accountable. Not to mention the fact that the majority of student-athletes tend to have good grades and good attendance in school.
MG– Tell me about your own family?
SH My wife Lisa is a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary school. My four children are all in the Morris School District: Danae, age 15, Jamie, age 13, Nicolette, age 11 and Corynn, age 8.
MG– Your history with the Morris School District?
SH– I taught Health and Physical Education for 12 years, Administrative intern for 1 year, Dean of Students for eight years and Vice Principal for two years
MG– Favorite things to do away from the office?
SH– I enjoy antique cars, golf and watching or playing sports.
MG– Something that not many people know about you?
SH– I love muscle cars. It’s more of a habit than a hobby.
MG– Is “Smitty” a nickname, and how did you get it?
SH– It is a nickname that was given to me as a toddler and the only name I have been called my entire life. It came from a singer in my mother’s favorite group.
MG– What is your vision as Athletic Director?
SH– Provide the best coaches, facilities, and academics that a High School can provide to prepare our student-athletes for the next level.
MG– Favorite sports teams?
SH– I was raised as a Dallas Cowboy fan for football, but now I support the Jets since moving to New Jersey. The rest of my teams are Philadelphia-based: Flyers, Sixers, Phillies. Also I have a fondness for the NY Islanders now that a former student of mine works for them. My college football team is Penn State.
MG– Favorite foods? Guilty pleasures?
SH– Steak and crab legs are a huge favorite.
MG– Funny habits or superstitions?
SH– I don’t like people touching my golf clubs. It brings them bad luck.