Hooten graduated from C. E. Ellison High School in 1987 where he played baseball and basketball. He earned All-District, All-Cen Tex and All-Super Cen Tex while leading his team to the bi-district championship as a senior. He holds school career records for scoring and assists in basketball. He twice earned All-District honorable mention and lettered three years in baseball.
Hooten became Sam Houston State University head basketball coach in 2010 after serving as an assistant coach for the Bearkats since 2004. He is the first Killeen athlete to become head coach on an NCAA Division I university.
"What made the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Reception such a memorable event for me was being with the other five honorees," Hooten said. "They are five outstanding individuals and it was an honor to be included with them."
Other 2012 Killeen ISD Distinguished Alumni included Bell County district attorney Henry Garza, Scott & White Hospital senior vascular surgeon Dr. Todd Bohannon, celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson, Travis County sheriff Greg Hamilton and Federation of State Medical Boards chief advocacy officer.
Following graduation from high school, Hooten went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and sports studies in 1993 and a master's in 1995 from Tarleton State University. He also served as assistant basketball coach at Tarleton State before joining the Bearkat program.