Behind every great man

Published 4:47pm Monday, June 30, 2014

By Scottie Brown

The Selma Times-Journal

The old adage goes, “behind every great man is a great woman,” and several couples in Dallas County are showing it hasn’t changed a bit.

Coaching is often a high-stress job with late nights — and depending on how a game turns out — not much sleep.

Dallas County athletic director Willie Moore has shown he can handle it pretty well, especially considering his Hornets won the Class 4A state basketball championship this year, but through all of his accomplishments his wife Linda has been by his side.

After 23 years of marriage, Linda said she still tries to be that constant support system for her husband.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved with the things that he does, with his activities,” Linda said. “He’s always been involved with mine, and we raised our kids that way. It’s just being there for each other and supporting each other.”

Willie has coached football, basketball, baseball and softball during his time with the Hornets, and Linda has been there through it all. But, Linda, who teaches at Dallas County High School, also coaches volleyball and girls basketball and through each game, Willie is always there to support her back.

“We’ve made it a family thing,” Linda said. “We’ve enjoyed it. We’re just blessed that we’ve been able to be put in this position.”

Like all professions, coaching has its plusses and minuses.

Keith athletic director Tommy Tisdale and his wife, Latonia, dealt with a challenging scenario a few years ago when their second child, Taylor, was born.

Keith was set to face Selma in basketball that night and Tommy was prepared to skip the game, but his wife wouldn’t let him.

“He told me, ‘I think I’m going to miss the game tonight. I’ll just let the assistant coach [run the team],’” Latonia said. “I said, ‘You can’t miss this game.’ Because by this time I’m just as into it as he is. I’m rooting for the teams as the fans are.”

Like most team moms, a coach’s wife is often given behind-the-scene jobs and turn into a type of “team mom.” Latonia said her contribution has become washing the team’s uniforms over the years.

“All the uniforms come to my house every night whether it be practice uniforms or game uniforms,” Latonia said. “I’m pretty much helping keep those clean.”

Meanwhile, Linda said she’s probably baked for teams more often than she can count.

“Oh, gosh have I,” Linda said. “I’ve baked cookies. I’ve cooked meals. It’s just something that I like to do.”

Of course, both women say it’s all worth it when they step back and see their husband getting to do what he wants to do.

“Seeing him do what he loves [is rewarding], and that’s what he loves to do. He’s always wanted to be a coach, and he’s always played basketball himself,” Latonia said. “It’s just what he’s always wanted to do. He supports me in whatever I do, so I’m there to support him with whatever he wants to do.”

For Linda, she said her greatest reward was being able to share what they love, and form relationships with the athletes and their parents.

“It goes beyond coaching a player,” Linda said. “It’s like a parent, father-son, father-daughter. We’re just trying to show the kids that we are a family and that’s what families do.”


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