“We had a number of good candidates,” Bennett said. “We narrowed the list down to three. We had them visit campus for five or six hours each. We had them meet with athletics director Philip Hutcheson, our other assistant coaches and some of the players. We had input from different areas.”
Horton is a former post player and graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee State University. She played for the women’s basketball team from 2004-2007 where she became the only player in school history to win Sun Belt All-Conference honors on either the first, second or third team all for seasons as a player. During her career she scored 1,523 points, shooting over 54 percent from the field for her career. She holds the school record for games played with 129.
MTSU was the Sun Belt Conference Champion all four years that Horton played.
“Krystle has been a winner her entire career,” Bennett said. “She was on the All-Conference team on some level for all four years. She has competed at the national level in AAU and was o an excellent high school program at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro.
“She has been a winner throughout her career. She has been a high-achiever. I think she will do a really good job for us.”
Horton spent the past season working as a graduate assistant. She assisted in the preparation and exchange of game film, on-court teaching and practice and the organization of recruiting, prospects and camp information.
Bennett was especially impressed with her background in recruiting. Khadija J. Head, who was the recruiting coordinator at MTSU, helped involve Horton in recruiting.
“They really tried to prepare her to be a step ahead as a full-time assistant,” Bennett said. Krystle met with most of the recruits when they visited the campus. She was involved in the recruiting plan and was involved with the mailings and all of the things involved with that.
“We want to make sure she is ready to go for the July recruiting period. She is super individual. She is very confident talking with people.”
Horton is starting work immediately. She is looking forward to getting involved in all of the aspects of the program.
“I feel like I can bring something special for this program,” Horton said. “I had a few options. It was kind of stressful, but I knew in my heart where I wanted to be. I felt like Lipscomb was the best fit for me.
“Coach Bennett was the first coach to contact me. When I visited campus and met everybody I had a real good feeling about it. I felt like I needed something different.”
Academically, she also has excelled. She held a 3.9 grade point average as an undergraduate, graduating Summa Cum Laude majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. She will complete her M.Ed. degree in curriculum and instruction in December 2010. She has a 4.0 GPA in her graduate work.
In addition to her work at MTSU, she also spent two seasons at Blackman Middle School in Murfreesboro, teaching sixth grade math and serving as head girls junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach.
“I feel like academics is first,” Horton said. “You want a player to have athletic ability, but at the same time you want them to be academically ready to be at the college level.”
From 2006-2009 she also served as assistant coach for the Tennessee Team Pride AAU team in Smyrna. Horton is a resident of Murfreesboro.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.