Don Horn

Today Don Horn turns 72. Horn was the second starting quarterback for Don Coryell during the offensive guru’s high-powered tenure at San Diego State in the 1960s. Horn joined the Aztecs in 1965 from junior college, replacing the graduated Rod Dowhower as the starter. In his two years at SDS, he got to throw passes to future NFL receivers Gary Garrison and Haven Moses, and he led the team to a 19-2 record, including an undefeated 11-0 season as a senior when he was named All-America.

Drafted in the first round of the 1967 draft by the Packers, Horn’s first extended appearance came in the year’s finale against the lowly Steelers when he relieved Starr and Bratkowski in the second quarter. Horn led the Pack to two touchdowns, but the Steelers scored two touchdowns and one field goal off turnovers and beat Green Bay in Lambeau 24-17.

Don missed most of 1968 due to military service, but was activated for the season finale against the Bears. Again, he relieved Bratkowski – this time in the first quarter with Green Bay trailing 10-7. Don proceeded to have a memorable game against the Bears to knock them out of playoff contention, completing 10 of 16 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-27 victory.

Returning to the bench in 1970, Horn got his chance to start the final four games of the season with Starr hurt again and continued to show great promise. Winning three of four, Horn completed 49 of 85 passes for 871 yards, 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. In the finale against the Cardinals, Don threw for five touchdowns and 410 yards.

After off-season knee surgery, Horn was terrible in limited appearances backing up Starr in 1970, throwing for two touchdowns to 10 interceptions. New coach Dan Devine traded him to Denver prior to the 1971 draft, and Don returned to Lambeau in week two to throw six interceptions in a 34-13 loss. He threw four more picks the following week but continued as the starter for the first nine games of the year. He was a bad quarterback on a bad team and threw just three TD passes to 14 interceptions for the season. He would never start again, although he would serve as a backup in Cleveland and San Diego in 1973 and 1974 before ending his pro career in the WFL in 1975.

Incidentally, Horn was the second San Diego State quarterback to play in Green Bay. The first was Paul Held, a backup in 1955 and the last Packer to wear 15 before Bart Starr in whose name the number is retired.

1967pdhorn  1967pdhorn4

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1970kdhorn  1955bpheld2

1967 Horn draft card is colorized.


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