Moore’s leap of faith brings him to Appalachian

Anne Buie

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a five part series on Head Coach Moore. The first part can be viewed here.

Moore’s Christian spiritual life has been interwoven with his pursuit of football perfection since he was in high school and as a role model for his players, he doesn’t want to let anyone down — including fans and fellow coaches.

Moore said he believes God brought men into his life when he needed them the most. One person in particular he mentioned is a man that he met when he was a volunteer coach at Arkansas by the name of George Tharell.

Moore considered Tharell to be his spiritual mentor while he was living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. During this point in time, Moore was an unpaid coach who was supporting three kids in college.

The volunteer job put financial strains on his family, but Coach Moore was simply happy just to be back coaching again. He knew the job at Arkansas was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Under head coach Ken Hatfield, Arkansas had been to a bowl game every year and they had won more than 70 percent of their games.

His wife was okay with his decision because she knew that Moore was excited about being in a competitive environment again. The couple moved into a $200-a-month apartment and Margaret was able to get a teaching job to pay the bills.

It was clear to Hatfield that Moore was a special coach. He knew Moore had worked hard at Texas Tech, and was gifted at working with receivers and the offense. It would only be a matter of time before other teams started uncovering Jerry Moore’s coaching talent.

One night when Moore got home from work, his phone rang. It ended up being an old friend named Jim Garner. Garner was Appalachian State’s athletic director and was offering Moore the head coaching position.

Moore had no idea how to respond.

“Appalachian State called me and I couldn’t pronounce it, I couldn’t spell it and I didn’t know where it was located,” Moore said.

Appalachian State was different than the other campuses Moore had coached at.

Kidd Brewer Stadium held about 15,000 fans at that point in time, which was considerably less than Jones Stadium at Texas Tech. But regardless of its size, Moore felt it was worth taking a leap of faith to coach at Appalachian.

“They didn’t know anything about me or about us,” Moore said. “We were strangers. Everybody on staff but one guy was from west of the Mississippi River. For anybody that comes here from the Southwest, there is acceptability on both parties. I have always enjoyed the students and they have always been very supportive of athletics here.”


Story: CHASE ERICKSON, Intern Sports Reporter