James “Doc” Van Horne (Faculty 1925-1954)
Teacher, Coach
Was born on a farm near Manson, Iowa on August 7, 1893. He attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, with Chemistry as a major and graduated in 1917 with a B.A. degree. His master’s degree in Education was awarded by the University of Southern California in 1929. Other graduate work had been taken at USC and the University of California at Berkeley.
After teaching science and mathematics in Iowa high schools, he came to New Mexico, where he coached and taught in Alamogordo High School. In 1925 he began his thirty four year career with the Tucson Public Schools as chemistry instructor at Tucson High. In addition, he assisted in the coaching of football and basketball teams for several years. In 1927, he was appointed head track coach. During the years to follow, his teams won thirteen Arizona State championships. In 1939 he coached Joe Batiste to a new national high school record in the high hurdles and prepared him to win the A.A.U. Championship in the hurdles and membership on a United States team which toured Europe. He has been awarded a certificate of appreciation by the AAA Conference for the promotion of Better High School Athletics. In 1968 the Arizona High School Track Coaches elected him as one of the first three members of their Hall of Fame.
Doc Van Horne secured leave of absence to serve in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. In 1945 he resumed his teaching and coaching at Tucson High School where in 1953 he was made Dean of Boys. In 1954 he was appointed Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of Pueblo High School, where he had student activities as his particular field of emphasis on student government. Through the rapid growth of Pueblo High School, he continued in this capacity until retirement in 1959. Since retirement, he has been involved in various civic affairs. He has worked in Civil Defense, attending special training schools and teaching Radiological Monitoring to public classes, especially the personnel of Tucson Fire Department. For two years, he worked with the Tucson Baseball Commission on the ticket sales for the Cleveland Indians’ spring training schedule. He has been closely associated with Retired Teachers Organization serving as Secretary for the Arizona State Director for the National Retired Teacher Association. He was a member both of the NRTA and the Arizona Education Association.