SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. - Tim Moore is coming home.
The former South Pittsburg all-state offensive lineman, who has been a part of state championships staffs at other schools, has returned to take over the football team at his alma mater.
"It's very exciting for me to know I'm coming back to coach on the field where I used to play," Moore said. "It's one of the most solid programs there is, and that's always a valued job for any coach. I was interested in it the first time it came open, but my father-in-law had been ill and I didn't find out until after the application deadline had passed. So when it came open again, I was thankful to have another chance to apply.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know the guys and continuing the tradition the program has built."
The 1978 South Pittsburg graduate played at Vanderbilt University and has spent much of his professional career in the mid-state, coaching at Battle Ground Academy, Franklin Road Academy and most recently La Vergne High School.
He began his coaching career at Livingston University, where he worked as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach from 1985 to '90. He then spent 15 years at BGA, first as defensive coordinator, where he helped the Wildcats win three state championships (1995, '97, '98) and finish runner-up once ('92) and then won two more state titles as BGA's head coach (2001, '03) and had one runner-up finish as well ('02).
"The biggest reason I'm excited is that Tim is a South Pittsburg person, so he understands our history and tradition and how important this program is to the community," said athletic director and previous coach Vic Grider. "Everybody will feel real comfortable having him in charge of our football program.
"He's a proven, quality head coach with a ton of experience at a very high level. We wanted somebody with championship experience and head coaching experience, and the fact Tim has those things and is a guy who loves this school and the community was a huge bonus for us."
Moore will be only the fourth head coach in the past 50 years, starting with Grider's father, the late Don Grider, who won one state title and finished runner-up three times from 1969 to '92. Danny Wilson, who is still a member of the faculty, coached from 1993 to '96, winning one state title, and Vic Grider took over in 1997, averaging 11 wins and winning three state titles with two runner-up finishes in his 16 years.
The school announced the hiring of former Calhoun defensive coordinator Ricky Ross in late January, but he resigned less than two months after accepting the job. Grider said the school received more than 100 applications when the job reopened.
"It's been a trying time for our fans because they were concerned about the program and when we were going to name a new coach," Grider said. "That just shows how much it means to so many people around here. But we felt good about where we were headed with this and we haven't missed a beat, because our staff has been overseeing workouts, and now we've got our guy in place before spring practice starts on Monday."