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Moore steps down as track and field coach

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Photo by BJ Hargis: Sullivan coach Jeff Moore.

 

Although best known for gracing the sidelines as boys basketball coach
at Sullivan High School for the past 29 seasons,  as well as teaching
chemistry and physics at SHS, Jeff Moore just completed what proved to
be his final season as boys track and field coach at Sullivan.
But after coaching in three different decades, Moore will no longer be
in the infield of the Harry C. Jarrett All-Weather Track with a
stopwatch around his neck and a clipboard in his hand.
When Grant Bell and Ike Chastain competed for the Golden Arrows at the
Bloomington North Regional on May 23 and Moore presented individual
awards at the spring sports awards program on May 30, the Scottsburg
native was officially done.
He’s had a pretty good run, yes, bad pun intended.
“After basketball, track was my therapy,” Moore said earlier this
season. “It is completely different coaching both sports.
“In basketball, you take every loss home with you, wondering what you
could have done differently. In track, you try to get the kids in
their best events and turn them loose. In track, you never know which
kids are going to step up and really surprise you and themselves. Even
on a night where you lose a meet, there are always kids who had
personal bests in their events.”
When Moore came from Brownstown Central to Sullivan to coach
basketball in the 1990-91 school year, he took over the boys track and
field program, which at the time was coached by Chris Stitzle and Jeff
Miller.
Stitzle and Miller had records of 5-6 and 2-10 in their two seasons in
charge of boys track at SHS.
During his tenure, Moore only had four losing seasons.
His final tally was 253 wins and 123 losses and Tri-River Conference
championships in 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998.
Twelve different times Moore took athletes to the state finals. On
three occasions, he had athletes in multiple events that qualified for
the state.
Moore had 17 different athletes advance to state.
On 11 different occasions, Moore had teams with at least 10 wins,
including the 2001 and 2003 teams when the Arrows amassed 17 wins each
year.
Maybe more in a sport like track, a coach is only as good as their
athletes. Moore, who took pride in having productive but short
practices, would be the first to admit to the importance of having
good athletes and kids that work hard.
Moore coached boys and girls cross country for five years — 1994-1998.
“The girls did not have cross country back then,” Moore said. “That
was a long time ago, but I was proud to have started the girls cross
country program.”
Coaching cross meant that for five seasons Moore had a whistle in his
hand year round.
“I loved doing it, but I did not have a lot of free time,” said Moore,
who had a 19-29 record in girls cross and 37-34 in boys. “I was a lot
younger back then.”
Moore said he plans to get his license to be a starter in track.
“I really love track,” he said. “I would like to stay involved in the sport.”
Moore’s tenure in track almost doubled the previous longest coaching
stint at SHS of 16 years, set by Reggie Laconi.
Moore has 425 wins in boys basketball, all at Sullivan.
He has teased that he would like to coach basketball until he gets 500
wins. At his current pace of an average of 14.7 wins per year, that
would mean six more seasons.
Moore and I often laughed about the tenure of all the previous boys
basketball coaches at SHS having an average tenure of just under three
years, a number I came up with when he was hired by the Southwest
School Corp.
I will miss working with Jeff in track and field, but am glad he will
still be on the basketball sidelines for a couple more years.

Coach Jeff Moore
Sullivan track and field
Records courtesy of Otto Clements
Year    Record
1991    7-3
1992    10-5
1993    12-2
1994    2-2
1995    7-8
1996    4-8
1997    11-6
1998    7-3
1999    6-4
2000    9-5
2001    17-3
2002    15-1
2003    17-1
2004    15-5
2005    9-4
2006    10-7
2007    10-3
2008    7-5
2009    7-3
2010    7-6
2011    8-5
2012    7-5
2013    3-4
2014    1-5
2015    7-4
2016    7-2
2017    10-3
2018    3-5
2019    8-6
Totals  253-123
Sullivan boys track
State finalist under coach Moore
Name — Event, Year(s)
Trent Cox — Pole vault, 1993
Branson Phillips — Shot put, 1993-95
Chad Smith — 1,600, 1994
Chad Smith — 3,200, 1994
Levi Baker, Clint Lamb, Travis David, Jeremy Farmer — 3,200 relay, 1998
Andy Jones — High jump, 1998
Levi Baker — 800, 1999
L. Baker, Jared Ridge, Scott Dugan, Thad Killion — 1,600 relay, 2000
Kyle Shorter, Darby Baker, Ryan Tucker, Matt Dupre — 3,200 relay, 2003
Eric Tomey — 200, 2016

 


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