ASU Coach Packs the House
Jerry Moore might have added an Emmy award to his resume last night in Atlanta.
Moore, the head coach of the Appalachian State University football team, has built quite the resume during his coaching career, having led the ASU Mountaineers to three consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Series (formerly Division I-AA) championships and collecting three AFCA National Coach of the Year award.
The veteran coach isn't going overboard on whether he gets an Emmy or not. But he was impressed by the reception he received in Southern Pines last Wednesday when he spoke to a packed house at The National Golf Club.
"It was definitely one of the best ones we've been a part of," he said by phone Saturday morning as he was getting ready to head off to Atlanta for the Emmy ceremony. "They put it together from scratch. It was an awesome day, and it was great to see so many people come out."
Moore also picked up an honor right here in Moore County, an honor that he deflects much like he did when he talked about possibly picking up an Emmy award. County Manager Cary McSwain presented Moore with an "official unofficial" resolution naming the coach as the Count of Moore.
"That was flattering," he said. "But they were honoring a program. I'm just the one out front. Like tonight (Saturday), it's really neat to be going, but I wish I could have the whole team there. It's not about me, it's a team thing."
His team garnered national attention, including the cover of Sports Illustrated, with its thrilling upset win over Michigan last season. The Mountaineers traveled to the "Big House" to take on the Wolverines, a team touted as a potential Division I-A national champion, winning when they blocked a last-second field goal attempt by Michigan.
"Under The Lights: Appalachian State Football -- A Date With Destiny," an hour-long documentary produced by FSN South detailing the Mountaineers' historic win over Michigan in the 2007 season opener, was nominated for an Emmy award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Southeast Chapter.
Moore is one of the four names listed in the official nomination in the Outstanding Achievement, Sports -- One-Time Special category.
Moore in Moore
Moore's visit to Moore County was arranged by a local committee of ASU graduates. The day started with a trip over to The National Golf Club where he, assistant coaches and David Jackson, the voice of the Mountaineers and this year's winner of the N.C. Sportscaster of the Year award, were planning to play a round of golf.
Grady Little, another person who has spent knows a bit about the challenge of coaching, heard that Moore was in town and went out to greet Moore while he was on the putting green. Little, who lives here, has managed the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, so he knows what it takes to lead a team.
"I always have and will continue to be honored to meet anyone whom I consider to be at the top of their profession," Little said. "Meeting Jerry Moore out here on the practice green at The National Golf Club was one of those honors."
Moore chuckled when asked about meeting Little.
"Grady came out to the putting green and talked with us for about 15 minutes," Moore said. "He is a really fun guy. It was pretty interesting listening to him tell us some coaching 'war' stories. Then we went out and played a really nice golf course."
Spreading the News
The red carpet treatment continued at National later that evening when the throng of ASU grads and fans of the football team gathered in the club's elegant dining room were treated to a two-hour presentation of everything Mountaineer. Also making the scene were the three national championship trophies.
Moore gave a speech, signed autographs, posed for photos and spread goodwill with ease, according to Eric Brooks, one of the organizers of the event. The veteran coach concentrated on explaining the expansion going on at the school located in Boone. The stadium is adding 5,000 seats, while also building a new seven-story facility that will house the press box among other things.
"The main thing I try to do at these things," Moore said, "is to make people aware of what's going on in Boone. And it's not just the facilities that are being added, it's the attention it brings to the university. Applications are up, and it's getting harder to get into the school."
He said that the win over Michigan certainly helped "put Boone on the map" because of the stir it created nationally, but for him and his coaching staff the back-to-back-to-back championships, something no other school has ever accomplished, were special.
Speaking of back-to-back, Moore indicated that he and his wife, Margaret, had such an enjoyable time in their first visit to this area that he hopes to return before the start of practice for next season.
"We are going to try and get back there," he said. "We really enjoyed it there. One of the members of the committee when we were there took my wife out to a nice place to eat for lunch, and then, of course, there is so much golf around there.
"You know, we (coaching staff) are almost constantly on the road. There really is no break or chance to relax. So I'm hoping that I can bring the coaches and their families down here for two or three days before the season starts, and have a nice little retreat together."
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