If anyone knows how to retire in style, it would be Southwest boys’ basketball coach Thomas Moore.
His 35-year tenure with the Eagles will come to an end this season, news that struck the heart strings of not only his players, but a multitude of Southwest alumni. In fact, his legacy, though there are no state titles to boast, was cemented with a placard that officially named Southwest’s gym after him.
And rightfully so. Moore, 57, has spent thousands of hours, perhaps not developing a state championship-caliber program, but developing young men. And he said there is absolutely no feeling of regret, but definitely fulfillment. He was even able to joke about his ‘280-400-plus’ record.
“I never went in to win titles, but to teach, and that’s what I did,” said Moore, a 1975 alumnus. “Our tallest players were usually 5-foot-9, so if you’re trying to win titles with that, you’re going to be disappointed.”
More than 100 alumni returned to commemorate Moore’s retirement. Amid the alumni were businessmen, doctors, principals, lawyers, and other coaches, all who say that Moore had a lasting impact in their lives.
“He shaped me as an individual and made me a better person,” said Franklin Molino, a Coral Gables lawyer. “He told me ‘don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t be what you want to be.’”
That same sentiment was reiterated throughout the night along with ‘mentor’ and ‘father figure’, especially by former players turned coaches.
Travelling the farthest from Tennessee was former player Chris Brown, who is head coach at Volunteer High School whose team defeated the Eagles 43-37 on Friday before the ceremony. But even during the game, the competitiveness was somewhat nostalgic and sentimental.
“I definitely wanted to come down here and be a part of this for him,” Brown said. “I love him. He’s the reason I became a coach.”
Among the Moore coaching protégés were Jose Fernandez, women’s coach at University of South Florida; John Shoffner, men’s coach at Webber College; and Nick Ronda, boys’ coach at Killian High School.
“It always feels good to have kids follow in your footsteps,” Moore said. “But you coach within your timeframe, and when your time has ended, it’s time to go.”
GIRLS’ SOCCER• Braddock 0, Miami 0: For BRA: Diane Tipps shutout. BRA 0-4-1.
• Ransom Everglades 1, Gulliver 1: Sophia Petros goal. Olivia Burke assist.
• Late Friday – Mourning 8, Hialeah-Miami Lakes 1: Delmy Brooks 3 goals. Angelica Gurevich 3 goals. Thais Oliveira goal. Mia Vaca-Gutierrez goal.
GIRLS’ BASKETBALL• Lourdes 60, Northwestern 45: LOU (3-0): Jordan 24. Vidal 18. Sosa 6. Kunkel 5. Couto 4. De Armas 2. Minervino 1. NW: Jan. Davis 15. Huell 13. Griner 9. Brookins 4. Mills 2. Jas. Davis 2. Three-pointers: Jordan 6, Vidal 4, Huell 2, Kunkel 1, Jan. Davis 1. Rebounds: Kunkel 7. Assists: Jordan 4. Steals: Jordan 6.
BOYS’ BASKETBALL• Gulliver 64, IMG Academy 55: GUL: Cgasin 17. Bowes 13. Heckaman 13. Patullo 10. Perez 5. Massirman 3. Paniz 2. Grippando 1. IMG: Mishra 27. Tankou 13. Rosenstein 7. Boczar 6. Stem 2.
• Late Friday – Ferguson 96, Goleman 92: Mike Stoltenberg’s 16, 7 rebounds. Javier Gonzalez 16, 11 steals.
Yancarlos Guerra won all five of his matches as Mater faced off in the Wellington Duals at Wellington High .• Boca 51, Mater 29.
• Mater 42, Dwyer 30.
• Forest Hill 52, Mater 21.
• Olympic Heights 52, Mater 15.
• Mater 30, McCarthy 24.