Horrocks joins the Storm after several successful stints at the Division I and Division II levels. He most recently was the offensive coordinator at Fairmont State University and has coached at West Virginia University, the University of Southern Mississippi and Oklahoma State University.
"After an incredibly extensive search, Coach Horrocks emerged as the best fit for our institution in that he not only has a plan to raise the competitiveness of the program, but more importantly, has a vision for what it means to be a Storm student-athlete. He is a rising professional who is eager to apply what he has learned under the tutelage of some of the country's most talented football minds, yet clearly has the students' welfare at heart," said Guarnieri.
Achieving his first head coaching position at the NCAA level is an exciting proposition for Horrocks as he stated, "I want to thank the administration, faculty and staff for this great opportunity to be the next head coach at Lake Erie College. This is a place that is very committed to having success in athletics as well as academics. I am extremely honored to now be a part of the school and its tradition."
With 13 years of coaching experience, Horrocks boasts an impressive record of working with some of the game's most respected coaches. It is a list that includes former LSU Head Coach Les Miles, Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy, West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen, North Carolina Head Coach Larry Fedora and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken, among others.
"This opportunity would not be possible if I did not have great people around me to support me during my coaching career. I have learned from some great coaches that have cultivated me into the person I am today," said Horrocks.
Horrocks began his coaching career as a student assistant under Miles at Oklahoma State in 2004 before taking the opportunity to become the running backs and receivers coach for a season at famed Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO). With 162 All-Americans and over 50 NFL alumni, NEO is considered one of the premier junior college programs in the country. Success at NEO invited a return to Oklahoma State in 2011, this time as a defensive backs and special teams quality control assistant. That year proved to be one of OSU's most successful to date culminating in a 12-1 record with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Stanford and a number three national finish.
From there, Horrocks traveled across the OSU coaching tree to West Virginia where former Cowboys offensive coordinator Holgorsen was named head coach in 2011. Here, Horrocks was elevated to graduate assistant in charge of the defensive line as well as offense and special teams quality control.
Following a successful season at WVU, Horrocks was presented the opportunity to move onto another OSU coaching branch and reunite with Monken at Southern Miss. As graduate assistant working with the receivers and special teams, Horrocks was part of a coaching staff that turned a 1-11 team into an eventual nine-win bowl game participant.
In the spring of 2014, Horrocks was then hired by Fairmont State Head Coach Jason Woodman to coach the wide receivers. Following a season where the Falcons finished 3-7, Horrocks was elevated to offensive coordinator to help turn around an 111th ranked total offense. By 2016, FSU had shifted to a more balanced attack averaging 122 yards rushing and 269 yards passing per game on its way to a historic year. After a record-setting season that ended with Fairmont State's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Playoffs, the Falcon football team finished the year ranked No. 23 in the final AFCA National Rankings with a 10-2 record.
Horrocks' Division I experience and recent turnaround at a fellow Division II program caught Guarnieri's attention early on in the search process as he said, "During the initial phases of a search we always feel we are going to draw some interest but Coach Horrocks was someone from whom I solicited interest very early on. Some of the best programs in the country have been led by first-time head coaches who have shown a quick elevation through the ranks and who have been associated with great programs. I have always been drawn to that type of pedigree because winning breeds winning."
With a process that began in early November, the head coaching search was deliberate and was comprised of over 200 applicants but Coach Horrocks exhibited patience. "I want to thank my wife and family for supporting me throughout this process," he said.
"I am looking forward to meeting the team and expressing my vision for the future. I will bring a new style of football to this area and bring excitement to this great community. We will compete at a high level and create a culture that is exciting and fun to watch. I cannot wait to get started and build a program that is bound for success," Horrocks concluded.
A native of Elk City, Okla., Horrocks received a business administration degree from Oklahoma State University and a master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University.
Horrocks and his wife Maegen have a son, Blayne, and daughter Adlee Grace.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT COACH HORROCKS
What others around the nation are saying about Jeff Horrocks being named head coach at Lake Erie College:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken:
"Lake Erie could not have made a better decision to hire Jeff. It was just a matter of time until he became a head coach. Jeff has a special way of connecting with the kids, and will come in and roll up his sleeves to get the job done."
Indianapolis Colts Running Backs Coach Jemal Singleton:
"Jeff has a tireless approach to the game and to the development of young men. He will do a great job building a winning program. I am extremely happy for him and his family and can't wait to see the great team that he puts out on the field next fall. Lake Erie not only hired a great coach, but also a great man."
Fairmont State University Head Coach Jason Woodman:
"Coach Horrocks is incredibly organized, efficient and strategic; everything he does is very well thought out. He has had a strong hand in the turnaround here at FSU and dramatically improved our recruiting in areas we never even had a presence in."
"He is an impressive evaluator of talent and is all about building relationships. His most visible skill is getting the most out of the student-athletes through great communication and motivation."