By Mike Holloway
College Sports Journal
Editor's Note: This is another writer's take on the career of Appalachian State's legendary football coach Jerry Moore. You can see the original article at the following link: http://appstatecentral.com/content/coaching-legend-steps-away-my-thank-you-jerry-moore
BOONE, N.C. — Less than 24 hours after suffering a heart breaking 38-37 overtime loss to Illinois State to end the 2012 campaign, Appalachian State athletics director Charlie Cobb announced that head coach Jerry Moore will not return to the sidelines in 2013, ending an incredibly successful 24-year tenure at ASU.
The decision was made in the offseason and kept quiet at the request of Coach Moore, who did not want a farewell tour to take attention away from his student athletes. While the details surrounding the situation remain unclear, I do not want to speculate on what discussions were held behind closed doors.
Instead, I would like to take a moment to thank Jerry Moore for his years of loyal service to the university I love.
Despite the rigors that come with being a Division I head football coach, Jerry was never too busy to acknowledge a fan or take time to speak with the media, whether it followed an impressive victory or a devastating defeat.
Like every other Appalachian fan in my generation, Coach Moore is the only ASU football coach I have ever known. By the time I stepped on campus in Boone 11 years ago, Jerry was already a local fixture and a well-respected coach among those who followed FCS/IAA football.
Since that time, he has been instrumental in elevating the Appalachian football program to levels that most fans could not have imagined a decade ago.
His teams won an unprecedented three consecutive National Championships from 2005-2007 and along the way, put Appalachian State on the college football map with a historic victory over Michigan on September 1, 2007 in Ann Arbor, MI.
Coach Moore steps down with a career record of 215-87 at ASU. In his 24 seasons, his teams made the playoffs 18 times, won 10 Southern Conference Championships and the aforementioned 3 National Championships.
Individually, he has been named Southern Conference Coach of the Year eight times, AFCA National Coach of the Year three times and was also the winner of the 2006 Eddie Robinson Award.
However, no amount of on-field accomplishments will be as big a part of Coach Moore's legacy as the lives he touched in serving as a leader of young men. Nearly every player that has come through Appalachian State and played for Jerry has a similar answer when asked why they chose to come play football in Boone, in some cases over offers from larger programs: "because he cares about me as a man as much as a football player."
The relationships cultivated by Coach Moore are apparent in the bond he shares with the players he has coached and their families, along with the coaches who have learned under him.
Scott Satterfield, Ruffin McNeil, Mark Speir, John Wiley, John Settle, Trey Elder, Stacy Searels and Tim Horton are just a few of the men who got coaching opportunities under Jerry Moore.
As fans and alumni of ASU, we have always taken pride in calling ourselves the Appalachian Family and nobody embodies that more than Coach Moore.
He has been a father figure for so many young men who needed direction and taken chances on kids that others had given up on, which is how he will be missed even more than on the sidelines.
From one dedicated fan and proud Appalachian State graduate, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Jerry Moore for all that he has done for ASU and the local community.
You have made me truly proud to be a Mountaineer, your dedication and humility will never be forgotten.