“It’s been a wonderful ride”

Published 9:38 pm Saturday, June 16, 2018

Not many people have had the coaching career that Willie Moore has had at Dallas County, and that is why he will be missed once he begins his new job as the assistant principal at Athens High School.

“It’s been a wonderful ride,” Moore said. “I got the opportunity to meet some very interesting kids and their families along the way that are near and dear to me. It’s definitely been a major blessing for me working in coaching, teaching and being the principal at Dallas County High School was one of the highlights of my career.”

The News Courier reported that the Athens City School Board unanimously approved a round of personnel actions Thursday, June 7, which included Moore as a new hire.

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Even though Moore wasn’t directly involved in athletics this past academic year, he was an integral part of the successes the Hornets have had during his time at the school.

Through different stages of his career at Dallas County, Moore has been the head baseball, boys basketball, football and softball coach for the Hornets.

“The opportunity to head those programs during my time was a major opportunity for me, and I’m so thankful I got to coach some great kids along the way. They were very loyal to me and remain so today. I would like to think that I left the program a little better than when I found it, but all the credit goes to the kids,” he said.

He led the basketball team to multiple area championships, two Final Four appearances and a state championship in the 2013-2014 season.

He was named the National Federation of High School’s 2014 South Sectional Coach of the Year, and won more than 500 basketball games in his career.

Some of his former players were able to use their talents to continue playing sports in college while working on their degrees.

“I feel a great sense of pride knowing that I had a small impact on those young men,” he said.

The 2017-2018 academic year was the first time in a long time that Moore wasn’t directly involved in any of the Hornets athletic programs. He still attended games and checked in on the coaches and players, but he had finally taken himself out of the driver’s seat so he could focus on his administrative duties.

“I can tell that it was tough,” Hornets head basketball coach Cliff Nix said. “He stayed away for the first few games, but after a while he got into it.”

Nix worked as Moore’s assistant for 10 years before being handed the reigns. Moore was and still remains a mentor for Nix, who appreciates what Moore has meant to the students, athletes and the rest of the Dallas County High School family.

“He was huge in the Dallas County family,” Nix said. “He wore so many hats. He’s just a good guy, a dedicated and hard worker. He meant a whole lot for the students. He’s taught over a thousand students that’s going to remember coach Moore.”

Moore won’t be resurrecting his coaching career at Athens. He plans to continue working solely in his administrative role. His legacy in sports will remain exclusive to the Dallas County Hornets.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and my wife [Linda Moore] to start anew somewhere else with a new challenge,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m leaving Dallas County because what we’ve accomplished will link me to that school and that school system for life. I had an illustrious and wonderful coaching career. Most people would love to have the coaching career that I’ve had, and I’m blessed to have had it.”