Mike Horner, who came on as an assistant coach and chaplain with the men’s team in the fall of 2012, fell in love with the game of basketball at age 10 and hasn’t stopped playing or coaching for over 50 years.
As a player, Horner suited up for the University of Calgary from 1969-74 and during that time, represented Team Alberta at both the 1971 Canadian Winter Games and Canadian Junior Championships. In his final year of university, Horner won the Dinos’ Most Inspirational Player Award.
Together with former Dinos teammate Frank Thoutenhood, Horner coached Calgary-based St. Mary’s High School to back-to-back city championship finals, in 1977 and 1978, winning in 1978.
From 1989 to 2001, Horner assisted Thoutenhoofd in organizing and coaching the Friday Nite Basketball program, a division of Athletes in Action, in both Richmond, B.C. and Abbotsford, B.C.
From 1993 to 2004, he coached boys’ basketball at Abbotsford’s W. J. Mouat Secondary. As each of his sons went through the program, Horner was both a head coach and an assistant from the Grade 8 level to the senior level. He led W.J. Mouat to a Grade 9 provincial championship in 2001.
In 1998, together with former Spartans men’s basketball coach Pat Lee, Horner helped launch the Abbotsford Heat Basketball Club. He went on to coach with the Heat for five years. In 2008 Horner again teamed with Lee as he was part of Lee’s interim coaching group that took over for the final six weeks of the season with the TWU men’s team.
Horner continues to play Masters Basketball and coordinates the 50+ league in Abbotsford. He has won numerous provincial championships as a player/coach at that level. He hopes to participate in the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy in the age 60-64 division in August 2013.