Moore leaves stellar legacy

Published 7:55 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The first time I met Dallas County High School basketball coach Willie Moore was in the mid to late 2000s. I was a student at West Blocton High and a starting player on the Tigers’ basketball team.

In a game in late January that season, we traveled to Plantersville to play Moore’s Hornets, who as always were one of the best teams in the state. I’ll never forget one moment in the third quarter of that game, when a Dallas County player jumped from just inside the free throw line for a dunk attempt.

Two of us jumped as high as we could and thought we had blocked the ball before being knocked to the ground. We looked up from the gym floor in disbelief as the player finished the dunk.  Nobody on our team dunked in a game all season that year. Many of us would’ve just been happy dunking in practice and here was a guy that leaped over two of our players, dunked the ball and then completed a 3-point play.

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I don’t remember Moore’s reaction to the play, but I bet he didn’t blink an eye. Even with his Hornets up dozens — maybe 50 — he was likely yelling out the next defensive play and making sure his team wasn’t losing focus. That’s just how he’s always coached.

Moore announced Tuesday that he will end his coaching career at the end of this semester at Dallas County High School. He’s coached basketball, baseball, softball and football during his career, but basketball is what he’s most known for.  He’ll instead focus his time on his duties as an administrator. During the last two years, he’s worked hard to juggle both his duties as vice principal and all his coaching.

“This gives me an opportunity to spend maybe a little more time with my family,” Moore said. “People don’t understand all the sacrifices coaches go through, especially basketball coaches. You are giving up all your holidays, your Thanksgiving, your fall break, your Christmases. You’re giving it all up.”

Moore will be the first person to tell you that he’s always had good players in his coaching career and that’s definitely true, but it also doesn’t give his coaching ability enough justice. He won at both West Blocton and Bibb County before turning Dallas County into a consistent juggernaut. He led Dallas County to a 2014 state championship, the first basketball title in the school’s history. The Hornets trailed by double digits in that game and two of their top scorers had fouled out with several minutes to go, but Moore led the Hornets back for the win. In 2016, Moore won his 500th career basketball game.

Now, he’ll be leaving the sidelines. Moore has as many as eight basketball games left in his coaching career and as few as two. Then, he’ll lead the Hornets’ baseball team. After that, he said he’s calling it quits for good. No more coaching. No matter what, Moore will go down as one of the best coaches in DCHS’ history.