Newly minted head coach Patrick Horn met his 20 returning players on May 23. He and his players are both excited for the new start. (Photo by Jace Eldridge.)

Patrick Horn is ready for a new challenge as head basketball coach of the Strawberry Crest High School basketball program. He was officially hired on May 20. He is only the second head basketball coach in the high school’s short history. 

He has previously coached high school football, basketball and club basketball in the area. 

He was director/head coach of the U15-17 Valrico Venom/BH3 from 2017-22, the Pro Skills U15-16 head coach of basketball PSB from 2022-24 and the Durant High School director of basketball operations and associate head coach from 2019-23. He was also the Freedom High School varsity defensive line coach from 2012-13 and the Plant City High School defensive line and head JV coach from 2013-14 and 2015-16.

The Chargers’ head man got the itch for a head coaching job about five years ago. He decided that right now was the right time to accept a head coaching job because he is now an empty nester and has the time to dedicate to build a successful program. His daughter, star Durant soccer player Rachel Horn, just graduated high school and is headed to Florida State University. His son, Spencer Horn, is currently in college. The high school is also 10-15 minutes from his house. 

“I was looking for the perfect fit and Strawberry Crest came open and I got really excited about it,” said Patrick. “The program has a winning tradition, great students, an IB program, I just thought it hit every box that I needed, and I think we’ll be a great fit together.”

Patrick is excited about his new coaching staff, who he thinks are the best in the county. Associate head coach James Phethean, varsity/JV assistant Chris Wright, head JV/varsity assistant Rodney Robinson and head of player development Sean Hayes will help Patrick lead the program.

The newly minted head coach met his 20 returning players on May 23. He and his players are both excited for the new start. They will play year-round. Patrick already has his team scheduled to play eight games in the summer league. They will participate in the Eckerd team camp, the Huddle Touch tournament at Tampa Bay Tech and a preseason tournament at Lakewood Ranch High School against Lakewood Ranch and former Durant head coach Jake Baer, who Patrick coached under. They also have a golf fundraiser scheduled for the end of August. Summer conditioning started on June 5.

“I look forward to see what Coach Horn brings to the team and program with a different style of coaching,” said senior Cameron Crowe, last year’s leading scorer with 15 points per game.

Patrick has high expectations for his program. The basketball schedule is already out, and the Chargers need to fill in six more games.

“We want the kids to get really excited about basketball,” said Patrick. “Strawberry Crest is rich in tradition with all of their sports. I plan on making basketball as competitive as humanly possible as well, and one of the major sports at this school.”

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.