New coach views success as preparing students for game, life

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2000

After months of searching, Greenville High School finally has a new coach and athletic director to match their

brand new facility.

Terry Moore was approved by the Butler County Board of Education last week as the successor to Gene Allen who resigned in February to move to Talladega High School.

Since his hire, Moore has been busy. Not only does he have films to review, players and coaches to meet and the chore of moving himself and his wife Joanne to Greenville, but he is also helping in the search for two assistant coaching positions that have yet to be filled.

As for getting next year's football team, and all other athletic teams, ready for the upcoming school year, Moore said one of the first priorities will be to figure out exactly where the teams are.

"What I want us to do is to assess where we are according to skill. Each coach from each sport needs to determine where we are, not just in athletic skill, but also in academics," he said.

The eligibility of students at GHS who may want to participate in sports is one of the things that Moore hopes to improve on at the school.

"Eligibility is a great concern for me. We want to help students by teaching them so they can be eligible and participate in athletics. For that to happen it is important for us to have good teachers and high-character people who can help the students become well-rounded individuals with goals and the tools they need to reach them," he said.

Moore does not judge his successes, or the success of other coaches, by wins and losses. Instead, it is the lessons that are passed on to the students.

"I have had all kinds of football teams in my 27 years of coaching. I have been very fortunate to be involved with many championship teams. I had one student who was

in the Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri in agriculture," Moore explained. "He came to me one day and said that he had considered quitting, but that he used some of the things I had said on the practice field to help him find the strength to go on. That to me is success. We are teaching young people about meeting the challenges of the world successfully."

One of the ways to help the students is to stress academics before athletics.

"I have been around a lot of great coaches and not all of them had great records. It is not all about the X's and O's. I believe we have to reach young people spiritually and academically. After that we can get involved in athletics, but we have to get their attention first," he said.

As for his football philosophies on the field, Moore said that the most important thing is to always be prepared.

"If we have ten people who understand what we are trying to do, and one who does not, then I have not done my job. I have to find a way to express to everyone on the team what it is we are attempting. It doesn't matter what I know; it is what the people on the field know," he said.

Moore would like to field ball-control-type teams that feature an energetic defense with a sound running and kicking game.

"I believe in great defense that plays every down with great enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the combination of preparedness and emotion at the same time. A team can play on emotion alone for a very short time only. Being prepared is what makes a team enthusiastic.

"I also believe in a good kicking game. If we do not have a punter or kicker then we will have to work on developing one," he said.

As for offense, Moore's first love is to hand the ball off, but he has been around long enough to know that successful teams have to put it in the air from time to time.

"I love to run the football. But, I have a good understanding of the passing game. We will want to throw unexpectedly, not just on third (down) and long. A successful passing game has a lot to do with catching the opponent off guard," Moore said.

But, Moore's theme seems to always come back to being prepared. Whether it means his students studying to make the grade or his coaches burning the midnight oil watching films of upcoming opponents.

"I believe in knowing the tendencies of the team on the other side of the field. That requires many hours of work and dedication from the entire coaching staff. It is our job to make sure that we know so we can coach the players and get them better prepared," he said.

Moore said he will not speak down to any player who fails to match up with the opposition on a physical level. He said that every sport is a mental game and that intelligence can go head-to-head with brute strength any day.

"I will never fuss at a young man or woman for being beat physically. Most sports are mental games. Everyone gets beat by a bigger or faster player from time to time, but if they are mentally prepared and in the game they always have a chance," he said.

Although the search for two more assistants continues at GHS, Moore said he is fortunate to have the staff members from previous seasons still intact.

"I am very fortunate to have Coach (Tony) Stonicher and Coach (Ronnie) Faulk on this staff. I have had the opportunity to talk and work with both of them since I came here. I believe they are great coaches, teachers and human beings. They have been through some great seasons here and I am very excited about working with them," he said.

It will take the entire staff to teach the players the thing that Moore said is the most importanthow to meet the challenges of the world with success.

"It takes three things to be successful. Commitment, hard work and a caring for each other. I do not know of a better or easier way," he said.

Moore said that he takes complete responsibility of the football team and all other sports in his role as athletic director at GHS and that negative talk will do nothing to deter him from his goals.

"I am a very direct and up front type person and when I have a problem with somebody or something I say it to their face. If anyone has a problem with any of the coaches here at GHS they should come and see me. I've been doing this a long time and naysayers do not affect me. I will continue coaching to the best of my ability in order to help the players play the best they can," he said.

But, right now naysayers is something Moore does not have to worry about. He has been out all week meeting with members of the community. He said that he and Joanne, who is a nurse, are excited about becoming a part of the community.

"We are elated about being here. My wife is from the Mississippi Delta and after having moved back there it was hard to talk her into moving again. But, when we came here she felt very comfortable and I have to thank John Black (GHS principal), Dr. (Mike) Reed and the Board of Education for bringing us here," he said.