At most places three national championships, eight consecutive playoff berths and a career-record that stands 128 games above .500 would get a statue built in your honor. Even at football factories like Notre Dame and Alabama that kind of production would earn you hero-status. Heck, the dillusional fans at Auburn, who have run off a pair of coaches that posted unbeaten seasons in the last decade, would appreciate a resume like that.
But for some unknown reason, that was not enough for the folks at Appalachian State University. The tiny school in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina, which was put on the map by their three consecutive FCS national championships and their stunning upset of Michigan to open the 2007 season, gave the pink slip to head coach Jerry Moore this week.
Sure the App State administration would have you believe the school and Moore mutually agreed it was time for the long-time coach to step away, but multiple media outlets are contradicting that claim.
According to both Moore and the school, the two sides had discussed the 73-year-old legend stepping aside after the 2012 season during last summer. But Moore claims nothing was ever finalized, and he asked the school for one more year after his team lost in overtime, 38-37, to Illinois State in the first round of this season’s FCS playoffs.
Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb decided Moore’s 24 years of service did not warrant a 25th season, telling reporters on Sunday that it was time for a change. The school is apparently ready to hand the keys over to current offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield.
Now Satterfield will probably go on to have a very productive tenure in Boone, but what would have been the harm in delaying its start by a year? It is not like Moore had lost his fastball. Again, his teams had been to the postseason eight straight seasons. He had beaten Delaware to win his third consecutive national title just five years ago. If he wanted another season, he deserved one,
Appalachian State’s decision to force Moore out was heartless and disrespectful. Then again, that’s what college sports have come to represent far too often these days.