Nashville, TN – One of the first tasks for Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt was to hire his coordinators. He settled upon Ray Horton as defensive coordinator and Jason Michael on the offensive side.
Michael spent the last three seasons as the tight ends coach for the San Diego Chargers, working with tight ends Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green. In 2013, Gates led the Chargers in receptions (77), Green posted a 22.1-yard receiving average.
Michael attended Western Kentucky University, where as a quarterback he led the 2002 Hilltoppers to an NCAA I-AA Championship. He later spent three total seasons on Phillip Fulmer’s coaching staff at the University of Tennessee.
Horton, who played safety for 10 total seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (1983-88) and Dallas Cowboys (1989-92), has spent the last 20 years in coaching. He was with Whisenhunt in 2011 and 2012 as defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.
In 2013, Horton was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He helped transform the Browns from the 23rd-ranked defense the year before his arrival to the ninth-best defensive unit in the NFL under his leadership.
Whisenhunt first encountered Horton in Pittsburgh. From 2004 through 2010, Horton served as the team’s defensive backs coach or assistant defensive backs coach.
When Whisenhunt’s staff was finalized, it featured a total of 19 assistants. Twelve were new to the team, and seven remained from 2013.
“You make relationships with coaches, with men as you go through this business, and part of my job is my assessment of good coaches,” Whisenhunt said. “When you get an opportunity to get those coaches with you, that’s what you do.”