UK Athletics
Rafael Horton - Football - University of Kentucky Athletics


  • title Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • Returned to the Kentucky football program as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2021 after two seasons as the assistant head coach for football strength and conditioning at West Virginia
  • Helps direct the strength and conditioning program along with director of performance Corey Edmond, director of performance/head strength coach Mark Hill and assistant strength coach Tyler Malone
  • Served as the head football strength and conditioning coach at Troy from 2015-18 where he was an integral part of the Trojan’s success … In his four seasons, the Trojans compiled a 35-16 record, won the 2017 Sun Belt Conference championship, tying for the 2018 Sun Belt Eastern Division Championship and won three straight bowl games
  • Previous stint at Kentucky was from 2013-15 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach
  • Trained former Wildcats and current NFL players Alvin “Bud” Dupree (Pittsburgh Steelers), Za’Darius Smith (Green Bay Packers) and Avery Williamson (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Also worked five years at Fort Valley State as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and linebackers coach for one year before being promoted to the strength and conditioning coordinator
  • As head of the department, was responsible for supervising the strength and conditioning staff for all 11 varsity sports and cheerleading
  • Also the university’s fitness instructor, developing fitness programs to help promote a healthier lifestyle for students, faculty and staff members
  • Holds numerous certifications, including NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) and CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists) as well as certifications with the United States Association of Weightlifting in sports performance, the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a performance enhancement specialist and the National Association of Speed and Explosion
  • Native of Barnesville, Georgia
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Fort Valley State in 2010 and a master’s degree in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2011
  • Has one daughter, Renee

Rafael Horton’s Coaching Career

Year Position School Bowl Games
2021-Present Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Kentucky
2019-20 Assistant head coach for football strength and conditioning West Virginia Liberty Bowl (2020)
2015-19 Head football strength and conditioning coach Troy Dollar General Bowl (2016), New Orleans Bowl (2017), Dollar General Bowl (2018)
2013-15 Assistant strength & conditioning coach Kentucky
2008-12 Strength & conditioning coordinator Fort Valley State
2007 Assistant strength & conditioning coach and linebackers coach Fort Valley State
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