Meet The Founder and CEO of Team Horton Foundation

THF Team Horton Foundation House 9-15-2015




Phillip G. Horton,  is responsible for leading the organization’s strategic efforts in its mission as a catalyst for innovative ideas to broaden the education of today’s youth as it relates to a sound mind and body.

Mr. Horton’s career spans more than thirty years, including director roles in college, professional, and as an entrepreneur;both in the public and private sectors with a major focus on the development of young people. A sports medicine specialist by training, he began his career as the head athletic trainer at Florida A&M University after a stint at Michigan State University as graduate assistant in football; Horton learned his coaching skills from watching Alabama’s Nick Saban who was coaching linebackers at the time. Upon leaving Florida A&M University he moved on to the the University of Memphis in a similar role. Upon leaving the college ranks, he joined the professional arena  while becoming the assistant athletic trainer and strength coach for the NBA Milwaukee Bucks. During this span he founded the Minority Athletic Trainers Committee  (now Ethnic Diversity Council) of the National Athletic Trainers Association. He served as the committees chairman for six years and during his tenure, he directed the committees strategic planning and oversaw all aspects of its operations and marketing efforts. As the Chairman, he recruited and mentored such notable Athletic Trainers such as: Scottie Patton, Head Athletic Trainer for New Orleans Saints and Daryl Conway, Director of Sports Medicine at The University of Michigan.


In 1989 he formed Athletic Training Concepts, Inc (ATC, Inc). while still the head athletic trainer at Florida A&M University. His vision was to take his knowledge of sports medicine, strength and conditioning; and coaching techniques to the public and private sectors to impact today’s youth at an early age. After his five year stint with the Milwaukee Bucks, Horton took on the task of making ATC. his top priority. In 1998 he landed his first client, driver Erine Irvan in NASCAR. He served as Ernie’s Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach for four years and during that span he developed a relationship with several individuals such as: Mike Houston (Tiny), Ryan Pemeberton, Barry Muse just to name a few, These individuals sparked his interest in the competition side of motorsports that would lead him on an endeavor to become a NASCAR Pit Crew Coach. With the help and assistance of  many,  Horton developed and nurtured a philosophy on how to train, coach and succeed as a pit crew member in NASCAR.


Pit Crew Coaching Record: 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, 11 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins, 12 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins, and one NASCAR Championship,

Awarded the NASCAR Industry Ambassador Trailblazer Award (2010)

Horton became the sports first Pit Crew Coach in 2000 when he was hired by Chip Ganassi Racing (driver Sterlin Marlin) to lead their program efforts when they joined the sport. As his philosophies and techniques took hold in the sport, he was soon hired by Robert Yates Racing (drivers Dale Jarrett  and Elliot Sadler),  Jasper Penske (drivers Dave Blaney and Brendon Gaughan) and several Xfinity and Camping World Truck teams; all at the same time growing his clientele to seven organizations and twelve teams.  By 2004 ATC, had grown from just himself to two assistant coaches and leased facility space in what is now known as Performance Instruction and Training, (PIT). In 2005 Horton joined Chip Ganassi Racing full time and for three season he guided the pit crews for such notables drivers as Jamie McMurry and Juan Pablo Montoya,

In 2008 Horton returned to independent contracting and ATC and took on the task of building the pit crews for Germain Racing’s Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series teams, This effort culminated into a championship run with driver Todd Bodine under the leadership of Mike Hillman, both  Jr and Senior, Horton stated this was his highlite moment in NASCAR as they teamed up to win the 2010 Camping World Truck Championship. Horton retired from coaching pit crew members for individual teams in 2011.

In 2011 coaching on Sundays had come to an end. Horton became the Director of Athletic Performance for Rev Racing a position he still holds today. Rev Racing is the brainchild of Max Siegle who is the Chairman of USA Track and Field  (USTF); and began his career in NASCAR as the President of Dale Earnhardt Racing in the mid 2000’s. With Dale Jr. moving on to Hendrick Motorsports, Max was awarded the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Developmental Program. Max brought in Horton to oversee the strength & conditioning of the developmental drivers and recruit, train,coach and mentor the pit crew members. Under his leadership NASCAR has diversified to include over eight drivers and 35 pit crew members, currently participating in the sport. Current notable newcomers in the sport are drivers: Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace as well as pit crew members;,  Richard Williams and Kenyatta Houston. Rev Racing has 16 K&N Series wins and a championshp in 2012 with then developmental driver, Kyle Larson.


Horton is also no stranger to the movie and TV arena as he has worked as an assistant to the producer in charge of authenticity of pit stops while filming the movie “Talladega Nights”.  While working with such notables as Will Ferrell and the late Michale Clark Duncan. Horton also appeared in the final scene as a security guard in victory lane.  Horton was also a member of the cast of the NASCAR Realty TV show “Changing Lanes”  which depicted what life was like as a diversity driver and pit crew member in a sport like NASCAR. The show aired for 8 episodes on BET in 2010. Horton has also made appearances or has been featured on such media outlets as CBS Evening News, CNN (Dr Sonja Gupta) ESPN (Outside The Lines) Fox News Rising Channel 46 and WBTV News 3 just to name a few.


Mr Horton holds a B.S Degree in Health and Physical Education from N.C. A&T University and served as a graduate assistant at Michigan State University while studying Exercise Physiology before leaving to become the Head AthleticTrainer at Florida A&M University. Horton has been honored with being awarded the “Key to the City” (Lenoir, NC, 1991)  for his stint in the NBA. He was  inducted into the Caldwell County Sports Hall of Fame (2005) for his participation at Lenoir High School as a mile & two mile distance runner (All Conference, Undefeated Regular Season 12 – 0 and 8th place Western NC Association Ranking, 1976) as well as his continued community service. One of his proudest moments in high school came when he participated in the Famed Lenoir High School Band as a tuba player and received a Superior Rating in the NC State Band Contest which was held at Appalachian State University in 1975. Horton finished his high school carrier being voted most original by his Senior class peers; a standard he still tries to live by today.



NASCAR Diversity Awards Dinner


Caldwell County Sports Hall of Fame with Lenoir Mayor Joseph Gibbions and fellow Hall of Fame member Darrel Lipford


Visiting with former NFL player Demetrious Johnson (in the hat) and his staff at the Demetrious Johnson Foundation


Fact finding tour of Texas Stadium in Dallas


Pre game preparation with Milwaukee Bucks player Glenn Robinson




Going over race day strategy with UPS pit crew member Darin Jolley just before Dale Jarrett’s Pit Stop.


Watching the crew go through their paces as we pit Dales car at Darlington

MEDIA : For more info concerning Coach Phil Horton and his programs – go to:

You Tube / Phil Horton, NASCAR  or  Phil Horton, Milwaukee Bucks

Facebook Page : Phil Horton – Pit Crew Coach


Coach Horton and Rev Racing driver Ryan Gifford appearing on FOX News Rising


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