Horton played three sports for Coach H. Kirk Grantham. As an athlete at UT Martin, he never weighed more than 145 pounds. He also served in the role as a student assistant coach.
He was awarded the B.S. Degree in Liberal Arts by UT Knoxville in 1930 and the M.S. Degree by North Carolina State College in Raleigh in 1932 where he taught zoology and entomology for six years.
Horton became a member of the UT Martin faculty in 1937 and began his tenure of 36 years as a member of the faculty. He served as head of the biology department from 1939 to 1958 and as head of the Liberal Arts curriculum for which he developed strong pre-professional programs. For many years, he was chairman of the UT Martin Athletics Board. Horton also was involved in several other campus organizations and very active in community work. After his retirement in 1973, he continued to help UTM many times with athletic alumni affairs and other reunions.