(BOONE) – After a career that included being winningest coach in Appalachian State history, Jerry Moore is stepping down as head football coach. The announcement was made late Sunday by athletic director Charlie Cobb.
“Following the end of last season (2011), Coach Moore and I sat down and we came to the decision, with the approval of Dr. (Kenneth E.) Peacock (Appalachian State University chancellor) that the 2012 season would be the last season of his tenure as head coach,” Cobb said in a statement released late Sunday. “Coach Moore didn’t want to make that decision public before or during the season because, in his typical humble nature, he wanted all of the focus to be on his student-athletes, winning a 10th Southern Conference championship and returning to the postseason for the eighth-straight year. In a fitting sendoff, all of those goals were accomplished. For thousands of Mountaineer fans, including myself, seeing him carried off the field by his players while clutching the Southern Conference championship trophy following the win over Furman (Nov. 10) was the highlight of the season.”
Moore compiled a 215-87 record in his 24 seasons at Appalachian State, including 10 Southern Conference championships, 18 postseason appearances and an unprecedented three-straight NCAA Division I FCS/I-AA national titles (2005-07). In 31 years as a head coach, Moore was 242-135-2, which is good for 15th all-time among NCAA Division I coaches. This year alone, Moore passed coaching legends Bo Schembechler (234 victories), Billy Joe (237) and Woody Hayes (238) on the all-time wins list.
While he enjoyed success at nearly every stop of his 51-year coaching career, his 24 seasons at Appalachian State cemented Moore’s standing as one of college football’s all-time great mentors.
He led the Mountaineers to three-consecutive national championships from 2005-07, making Appalachian the first program to ever win three-straight titles at the FCS level and the first Division I institution (FCS or FBS) to accomplish the feat in 61 years. Appalachian became the first institution from the state of North Carolina to ever win an NCAA football championship at any level when it defeated Northern Iowa, 21-16, in the 2005 national-title game, a feat it repeated with wins over Massachusetts (28-17) and Delaware (49-21) in the 2006 and ‘07 NCAA Division I Football Championship finals.
Moore also led the Mountaineers to seven SoCon championships in the last eight years (2005-10, ‘12), making Appalachian State only the second program to achieve that feat since the venerable league began crowning a champion in 1933. Appalachian won 26-straight conference games — the second-longest run of league victories in SoCon history and the longest in 51 years — from 2007-10.
Additionally, Appalachian State became a household name when Moore led his troops to perhaps the biggest and most prominent upset in college football history, a 34-32 triumph over the University of Michigan in the 2007 season opener. The victory over Michigan, college football’s all-time winningest program which came into the contest ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, marked the first time that an FCS team ever toppled a nationally ranked FBS opponent. The victory also compelled the AP to change its long-standing history of only accepting votes for FBS teams in its Top 25 poll, which allowed the Mountaineers to become the first FCS team to ever receive votes in the poll, which they did on three occasions in 2007.
Moore is no stranger to individual awards, as he is a three-time American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year (2005, ‘06, ‘07) and the only Division I (FCS or FBS) mentor in the 77-year history of the award to win it three years in a row. He also won the 2006 Eddie Robinson Award (National Coach of the Year) from The Sports Network, is a six-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year (1994, ‘95, 2005, ‘06, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10) and a record eight-time SoCon Coach of the Year (1991, ‘94, ‘95, 2005, ‘06, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10). In 2009, he was named the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year, an award that included $50,000 for Moore’s favorite charities and $20,000 for the Appalachian State Alumni Association scholarship fund.
Under Moore, Appalachian State players earned all-conference recognition 257 times and have received all-America honors on 95 occasions with this year’s all-America teams still to be announced. He also coached the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award (FCS National Player of the Year), Armanti Edwards in 2008 and ‘09.
In addition to his nearly quarter-century tenure at Appalachian State, Moore also served as head coach at North Texas (1979-80) and Texas Tech (1981-85) and spent 15 seasons on the staffs of legendary mentors Hayden Fry (1965-72 at SMU), Tom Osborne (1973-78 at Nebraska) and Ken Hatfield (1988 at Arkansas). Moore began his coaching career with four seasons as an assistant coach at Corsicana H.S. in Texas (1961-64).
Prior to embarking on his legendary coaching career, Moore made his mark as one of the nation’s premier players at Baylor from 1958-60. He ranked among the nation’s top 10 in receptions while serving as a team captain for the 11th-ranked Bears as a senior and graduated from Baylor with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics in 1961. A native of Bonham, Texas, Moore was an all-state performer on the gridiron and earned 14 varsity letters in four sports at Bonham H.S. He is a member of the Bonham Athletics Hall of Fame and the town honored one of its most prominent sons when it declared Feb. 18, 2008 to be “Jerry Moore Day” in the hamlet of 9,900 located 75 miles northeast of Dallas.
“During his 24 years of loyal service to Appalachian State University, Coach Moore’s contribution to the institution is far greater than his success on the field,” Peacock said. “He touched the lives of many young people and made life better for them. He will be missed but never forgotten at Appalachian State.”
Assistant head coach Scott Satterfield will serve as Appalachian State’s interim head coach while a nationwide search is conducted for the 20th head coach in program history.