Alcorn State University President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. named Derek Horne as the University’s new intercollegiate athletic director during a news conference Friday, August 8, at the Vicksburg Expansion Center.
Horne previously served as director of athletics at Florida A&M where he negotiated the largest guaranteed football contract ($900,000) for a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Prior to that post, he had an impressive 15-year tenure at his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, in athletics administration.
As a student athlete at the University of Mississippi, Horne earned Academic All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) accolades as a senior and led his squad as team captain.
President Rankins stressed the importance of identifying final candidates who would balance academic and athletic success—be a champion for the student athlete.
“Horne’s background and accomplishments as an athletic director also demonstrates his strong leadership abilities and his commitment to develop leaders in-and-out of the classroom,” said President Rankins.
For Horne, returning to Mississippi is like coming home and being named Alcorn’s new intercollegiate athletic director is an opportunity he couldn’t resist.
“I am grateful to the search committee and President Rankins for entrusting me with this great honor,” said Horne. “I will give you my best and expect the same in return. Our focus will be working together to do what is best for Alcorn.”
Search committee member Dr. John Walls Jr. of Vicksburg said he is excited about the future of Alcorn’s athletics program under the direction of Horne.
“His reputation as a leader and motivator coupled with his strategic planning and fundraising abilities made him stand out,” said Dr. Walls.
Horne will report to Alcorn later this month and begin to provide administrative direction and oversight for Alcorn’s 17-sport athletic programs and activities and supervise the control and compliance with applicable National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and University rules and regulations governing all facets of intercollegiate athletics.
Horne is a 1987 graduate of the University of Mississippi. He is a native of Quitman, Ga. Horne is married to the former Sheila Mosley of New Albany, Miss., and they have one son, Christopher.