In Judges chapter 6 we see the call of Gideon, a great warrior and leader. In that text, the Lord says to Gideon, "The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor." He was a man the Lord respected. He had courage, strength and he feared the Lord. He was used mightily of God in this story and we still speak of him to this day. I don't often drop names in my blog, but this one is different. This one is full of men who need to have their names mentioned. Mainly because they will not do it themselves. It isn't their way, so hang in there with me as I attempt to honor them.
When I was a freshman in High School we hired a new coach, Richard Hoogendorn. His contract wasn't renewed that year, but that's a different story. Though we lost like 2 games all year, there was something else about him that I remember; his character. He taught us to be men of honor, of honesty and hard work. He wanted to win, make no mistake, but not at the expense of character. Ever. I still miss him.
That's why when I found out Coach Moore was up for the Martin's Mill boy's head coaching job, I knew we had to make sure it happened. We had another Hoogendorn on our hands and I knew it. I went to the board meeting that night to show my support, and I would do it again. In the years since his promotion we haven't always agreed on everything. I mean, my wife and I don't agree on everything, but the one thing we have always agreed on is that the kids come first; Building men of character is more important than winning ball games (though it is fun to do both). He is a man of faith who loves the Lord and the young men he serves.
Coach Moore has been a good friend and great mentor to my boys and some of your's. What I love most about him is his authenticity. What you see is what you get, and that's a pretty good deal. I don't know how things will go next week in San Antonio as the Martin's Mill boys seek the state title, but regardless of the outcome on the floor, Trae Moore, you are a champion in my book.
Every generation has the teacher(s) that you always come home to see. For us it was Coach and Mrs. Martin. I love to see them at the store, at the game, always ready for a hug and well placed behavioral correction, if needed. To this day I can't wear my hat indoors without feeling guilty. For others, Coach Moore will be that guy. He will be the one that people tell stories about. Maybe not about his coaching, maybe they will, he's a great coach, but they will talk about what matters when you grow older; character, honor, faith, love and valor. Men will tell their boys about Coach Moore, much like we tell about Coach Martin and Coach Hoogendorn. "He was a fine man", they'll say. "He loved the Lord and he loved us, even when we didn't deserve it. He didn't let us get away with anything because he knew we needed discipline to survive, sprinkled with Grace and a heaping dose of love."
As a member of the community, I look forward to seeing where the Lord takes you in the next chapter. As a parent, I will miss you greatly down at the school. As a friend, I am better for having been around you. We will miss you, Coach. May the Lord be with you, O mighty man of valor.