Tadao Horie started playing football at the Hamamatsu first middle school. After graduating from Waseda High School, he enrolled at Waseda University and played for the university soccer team in the fullback position. He participated in the 1934 Far East Championships, playing against the Philippines and China. In 1936 he was part of the Japanese national football team for that year's Summer Olympics. In the first match against Sweden, Horie was hit by accident and broke his right arm 15 minutes into the first half. He continued to play, because no substitution was allowed according to the rules at the time. Taking advantage of Horie’s injury Sweden scored twice in the first half. In the second half, Japan achieved a come-from-behind victory scoring three goals, an upset called the "miracle of Berlin" in Japanese football. With his broken arm, he was not able to play their second match against Italy and Japan was defeated 8-0.
After returning to Japan, Horie joined the Asahi Shimbun newspaper as a reporter. In 1949 he published the book Technics and Theory of Football together with Takeshi Kamo. In 1951, while he was a professor of political science and economics at the Waseda University, he became chairman and coach of the University’s soccer section. He encouraged several excellent players, who under his leadership won the 1966 Emperor's Cup for the university. As a leader, he laid the foundation for the prospering of soccer in Japan. From 1987-93 he served as president of the Ohtsuki City College. As an economist Horie wrote a number of papers on Marxist economy.