Lightning G.M. goes to U of L

| March 16, 2011

When the Louisville Lightning head into season three this fall, they’ll have to do it without the only general manager the club has ever known.

The Lightning’s David Horne has been named the new director of operations for men’s soccer at the University of Louisville. It’s a bold step for Horne, but one that figures to be a good move for both parties. The biggest winner, however, should be soccer fans in Louisville.

Horne is a guy that should be familiar to Louisville soccer fans for all the right reasons. Spend a few minutes with him, and he’ll make you feel like you’re the most important person in the room. At age 25, he’s accomplished more than many administrators twice his age.

A two-time captain at Centre College, Horne was the school’s first NSCAA/adidas Academic All-American and the 2006 Centre College Male Athlete of the Year. He played professionally in the United Soccer League, and for both Cincinnati and Louisville in the Professional Arena Soccer League. He led the Lightning as the team’s general manager for both of the club’s first two seasons, orchestrating the signing of three former Major League Soccer stars.

If you know Horne, you may not know any of the afore-mentioned stats. He’s more interested in what you’re doing than anything he’s done.

I had lunch with him recently, and our conversation centered mostly around his desire to serve the Louisville community. He told me about his plans to do work at a local community center, but the conversation was dominated by questions he asked me. When he wasn’t interested in my work, he was telling me about his new boss, U of L men’s soccer coach Ken Lolla.

“What you see is what you get,” Horne said of Lolla.,  “He’s a guy that you want to be around, not just as a coach, but as a person.”

Ironically, the same could be said of Horne. He’s a major acquisition for Louisville Men’s Soccer. Horne has a tireless work ethic, which is why the Lightning are even heading into season three.

“It’s a blessing and an honor to serve the best coaching staff and student-athletes in the country, and it’s an amazing opportunity to work in the athletic department at U of L,” Horne said.

The Lightning will undergo a number of changes this offseason, but all of them point toward big things for the club. Horne was the original general manager because he was available. Now the club is searching nationally for both a GM and a coach, which signals the ownership’s commitment to raising the level of soccer in Louisville.

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