Zack Moore cracked that, "amazingly enough," the 2020 football season will be his 22nd as a coach.
Moore plans to put what he's learned in the previous two decades and change into his first year helming Greenup County's program.
"Every stop I've had, I learned a ton," Moore said Tuesday afternoon, hours after accepting the promotion from Musketeers defensive coordinator to head coach. "I learned a ton here in the last couple of years as an assistant at Greenup. I think what you learn over time too as a coach is, it's a lot more, especially with a high school player, what's going on between the ears than it is anything else."
Moore was Kentucky Christian's head coach from 2009-10 and led East Carter from 2011-14. He was a defensive assistant coach at Morehead State before and after those tenures and spent the last two seasons assisting Scott Grizzle at Greenup County. Grizzle left for Hazard in January.
Greenup County athletic director Matt Gilbert credited Moore's "wealth of knowledge and experience" as a boon.
"Coach Moore has a great understanding of what the needs are of the program at Greenup County, what direction to take and how to build off of what is currently successful in the program," Gilbert said.
Moore, well-respected by coaching peers for tactical acumen and a straightforward, no-nonsense style, inherited imminent rebuilds with the Knights and the Raiders. It showed on the field, to the tune of an 8-54 record in those six seasons.
"If the old adage is you learn more from some of your failures than you do your successes, then I should be set up pretty well," Moore joked. "We weren't failures there by any stretch of the imagination. Our record wasn't great, but ... my last experience as a head high school coach at East Carter, it was a complete rebuild situation. We didn't have the success in the win-loss column, but I feel like we left it a lot better, and I think (Raiders coach) Tim (Champlin, who succeeded Moore at East Carter) has benefited from that greatly.
"That's what I think we'll focus on a lot more here. I've always been a 'developing players more than anything else' type of coach, but we need to do more, develop them a little bit more, a little bit better, outside of the realm of football than I have in the past."
Moore is excited that Greenup County doesn't figure to need the same total rebuild, though it must replace Marshall signee Eli Sammons, the most prolific passer in northeastern Kentucky history, and top wideout Austin Evans among a 16-man senior class.
Before a 4-7 season last fall, the Musketeers assembled three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1998-2000.
"I think that as (2011-15 Greenup County coach) Chris (Mullins) progressed in his time at Greenup, they got better and better, and then Scott was able to take that to a whole different level," Moore said. "We lose a lot of good players, but I don't think it's as much of a rebuild or a reload as maybe a reset. In order to be successful moving forward, we might just have to do it in a different way, just because Elis and (2019 graduate and stud receiver) Pat Kellys and Austin Evanses, those types of guys haven't emerged quite yet."
Greenup County will favor simplicity defensively under Moore, he said, "because simple schemes enable players to be confident in what they're doing, and confident players play fast." The Musketeers will also emphasize an effective ground game offensively.
Moore, 43, hails from Knoxville, Tennessee and is a Morehead State graduate. He is married to Kelley Moore, East Carter High School's principal. They have three daughters: Mackenzie, 17; Maci, 15; and Madelyn, 12. Maci is a sophomore basketball and soccer Lady Raider, and Madelyn is also in East Carter's system in those sports.
Moore has enjoyed the family dynamics of coaching the Class 3A, District 7 rival of the school where his wife works and daughters attend. The Musketeers and Raiders have split the two games Moore has been involved in at Greenup County, with the Musketeers winning 61-24 in 2018 before a 30-29 Raiders victory last fall.
East Carter and Greenup County also split the two games in which Moore directed the Raiders. East Carter beat the Musketeers, 13-12, in overtime in the 2013 season finale, which is Moore's most recent victory as a head coach.
"It's been kinda cool over the last couple years," Moore said. "I think the first year, my daughters were the ones that liked to talk the most trash to me. They tried to make my life pretty miserable. But we came out on top that first year pretty handily, but they got their revenge on us this past year. There wasn't as much trash-talking, because (Maci) said, 'Listen, I'm not talking any more trash because it comes back around to me in the end' ... she took it easy on me after they beat us."
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