Class of 2016
Rocky Mountain College History
Montana's first institution, Rocky Mountain College, has a football history that dates as far back as 1931 with the hiring of Herb Klindt. Klindt was hired by Billings Polytechnic Institute, and he began instituting various sports in his first year as well as moving into the new Tyler Hall in December of 1931 with his wife Clara. Klindt and his football team were named co-conference champions of the Montana Collegiate Conference in 1938. His teams continued to dominate the conference for a period of five years from 1937-1942. Klindt’s influence was not limited to sports, he created a naming contest which led to the name of Rocky Mountain College in 1947.
RMC has had one player make it to the National Football League after finishing his career with the Battlin' Bears. Wide receiver Chris Horn of Notus, Idaho, played on Herb Klindt field, which was named for the legendary coach in 1970. Chris Horn and Darrell Hirsch became a dynamic duo for RMC quarterbacks like Chris Klein from 1995 to 1998 where the two receivers combined for 506 receptions for 7584 yards and 75 touchdowns. Horn and Hirsch were inducted into the RMC Hall of Fame in 2009.
Horn entered the NFL as a free agent in 2003 signing with Kansas City Chiefs where he was assigned to the practice squad until he was signed to their active roster in September. His first career touchdown came on September 26, 2004, against the Houston Texans. His first career start came in the 2005 season on October 13, against the San Diego Chargers.
Chris Horn signed with his first professional team, the Billings Thunderbolts of the Indoor Football League in 2000. He then moved to the AFL, playing for the Arizona Rattlers from 2001-2003. In an ironic twist, Horn’s coach of the Billings Thunderbolts was Mitch Donahue who is also being inducted into the inaugural class of the Montana Football Hall of Fame.
Horn entered the (NFL) as a free agent in 2003 signing with the Kansas City Chiefs spending four games on their practice squad. In 2004, he was allocated the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europa. In the2004 NFL season, Horn began the year with the Chiefs on the practice squad until he was signed to their active roster on September 26. His first career touchdown came on September 26, 2004 against the Houston Texans. His first career start came in the 2005 season on October 13 against the San Diego Chargers.
In 2006, Chris Horn attended the Saints training camp but was waived before the season started. In 2007, he had a similar experience with the Carolina Panthers.
In 2008, Horn was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Soul by the New Orleans VooDoo in the Arena Football League. Horn was released by New Orleans on March 10, 2008.
*Chris Horn’s journey to the NFL (National Football League) was anything but ordinary and his story will captivate any audience. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Amy and their two children, Christopher and Frances. He was raised in Notus, Idaho, a small farming community in Idaho where graduating classes average 25 students and the football teams play 8-man football because they don’t have enough athletes to form a traditional 11-man football team. Chris went on to play for and graduate from Rocky Mountain College, a NAIA school located in Billings, Montana with approximately 1000 students. At Rocky Mountain, Chris was a four time All American.
Believing he had the ability to play in the NFL, Chris set out to accomplish his dream. Chris’s professional football career began with the Billings Thunderbolts of the Indoor Football League; where he earned just $200.00 dollars per game. After one season, and a heavy dose of persistence, he moved up to the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League where he played for head coach and former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Danny White. After two seasons in the Arena Football League, Chris caught the attention of several NFL teams. In 2003 he signed his first NFL contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Chris played three seasons for the Chiefs and was selected special teams captain in the final game of legendary head coach Dick Vermeil’s career. Chris also played for the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
Among Horn’s speaking tour stops, was the Great Falls Central Catholic schools in Great Falls, MT. School principal, Hugh Smith, said, “ Horn’s relationship to the children and students was as powerful as was the message.” Smith also praised Horn’s ability to promote hard work, ethics, and the importance of turning a dream into a goal for the students.
Chris has the rare distinction of receiving an Honorary Doctorate Degree and Master’s Degree, both obtained while playing professional football.
*Courtesy CMG booking