King’s Athletics Founder Leaves After Nine Years

Former Athletics Director Sean Horan, top right, pictured here with The King's College inaugural Rugby Sevens team in 2015.

Former Athletics Director Sean Horan, top right, pictured here with The King's College inaugural Rugby Sevens team in 2015.


After nearly a decade as the Athletics Director of The King’s College, Sean Horan and his family moved this month to Australia.

Last November, Horan announced he would be leaving his post at the end of the Fall semester.

“Sean built this program from the ground up,” Hannah Kate McClendon (‘18), the current athletics student worker, said. “There would be no athletics here without him.”

Horan has a diverse professional background -- from professional cooking to trading commodities on the Mercantile Exchange to being a talent scout and founding member of the North East Olympic Development Academy for the new USA Rugby team. It was Horan’s prolific rugby knowledge that first brought him to King’s.

Horan became the college’s Athletic Director in 2007, when King’s resided in the Empire State Building and had no organized sports teams. Horan had a close relationship with Stan Oaks, former president of TKC, who asked Horan to come to the school and use his industry knowledge to start a rugby team at King’s. Thanks to Oakes, Horan fit in quickly and, soon, as the student body grew, organized sports began to pop up.

Since 2007, King’s added twelve sports, with ten continuing to this day. There have also been etherial sports teams that arose based on students’ willingness; the baseball team, for example, has come and gone based on the interest and background of enrolled students.   

Horan joined the premier US Rugby club Old Blue directly out of college and played for nearly a decade before becoming a coach there. Hired as a rugby coach by Columbia University, he led that team to a 7-0 record in his inaugural season.

Horan took a young, small college with no athletic department and crafted a program that competes on a national level. King’s Athletics is a part of the USCAA and a member of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“Sean took this college and made it on par with many small colleges,” King’s new Athletic Director Bryan Finley said.

Finley has worked under Horan since the Fall of 2011. The two were friends since they were 18 years old and together carried much of the program’s administrative load in their time as a duo at King’s. In Horan’s eyes, the college is left in capable hands, with Finley leading and head men’s soccer coach Tom Harman as Finley’s new assistant.

“I wasn’t all that surprised,” Finley said when asked about the sudden departure.

The move comes after Horan and his wife vacationed for a month in her home country of Australia over the summer.

“If you would have asked me who out of all my friends would pick up and move across the world in a span of 90 days, it would be Sean,” Finley noted. “He is just that type of guy.”

“Also a fantastic cook,” Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Nick Swedick added. “Best ribs I ever had.”

Horan landed safely with his wife and two kids in Australia on Thursday, January 12.