A bona fide legend in the college football coaching ranks, 2012 is Jerry Moore's 24th year at the helm of Appalachian State University's football program.
In 23 seasons at Appalachian, Moore has compiled a 207-83 record, making him the winningest coach in Southern Conference history. In 30 years as a head coach, he is 234-130-2, making him one of only seven active NCAA Division I FCS head coaches with 200 career victories and 20th among all NCAA Division I coaches (FCS or FBS) in all-time victories.
Despite the success that Moore has enjoyed at nearly every stop of his 50-year coaching career, the past six seasons have cemented his standing as one of the game's all-time great mentors.
Moore led Appalachian to three-consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS formerly Division I-AA) national titles from 2005-07, making ASU the first program to ever win three straight championships at the FCS/I-AA level and the first Division I program, FCS or FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision formerly Division I-A) to accomplish the feat in 61 years.
He has also led Appalachian to its six-straight SoCon titles, which is tied with Georgia Southern (1997-2002) for the most consecutive conference championships since the venerable league began crowning a champion in 1933. ASU won 26-straight SoCon games the second-longest run of league victories in league history from 2007-10.
Most notably, the Apps became the first institution from the state of North Carolina to ever win an NCAA football championship at any level when it defeated Northern Iowa, 21-16, in the 2005 Division I-AA national title game a feat they repeated with wins over Massachusetts (28-17) and Delaware (49-21) in the 2006 and '07 NCAA Division I national championship tilts.
Additionally, Appalachian became a household name when Moore led his troops to perhaps the biggest upset in college football history, a 34-32 triumph over Michigan in the 2007 season opener. The victory over the Wolverines, college football's all-time winningest program which came into the contest ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press' Top 25 college football poll, marked the first time that an FCS team ever toppled a nationally ranked FBS opponent.
However, Moore's success at ASU did not begin in 2005, as the Mountaineers' triumphs over the past six seasons has only enhanced his standing as one of the nation's finest coaches, not defined it.
Twenty-two of Moore's 23 squads at ASU have posted winning records, nine have won Southern Conference championships and 17 have advanced to postseason play. He wasted no time in establishing a winning program, leading his very first Mountaineer squad to a 9-3 overall record and NCAA Division I-AA playoff berth in 1989.
Two years later, Moore hoisted the SoCon championship trophy for the first time when his Apps captured the conference title and accompanying postseason berth with six wins in seven league tilts in 1991.
The 1991 championship campaign sparked a run of four playoff bids in five years, capped by perhaps the most impressive regular season in school history in 1995. The '95 Mountaineers rolled to a perfect 11-0 regular-season record and, behind a defense that featured All-Americans Dexter Coakley and Matt Stevens, appeared to be a favorite to win the school's first national championship. However, Stevens suffered a year-ending injury late in the regular season and ASU's promising campaign came to an end when it stumbled against Stephen F. Austin in the second round of the playoffs.
Appalachian missed the postseason each of the next two years, but responded with a run of five-straight playoff appearances from 1998-2002. The stretch was highlighted by Moore's third SoCon title in 1999 and an unlikely run to the 2000 national semifinals as the No. 13 seed in the 16-team field.
Another two-year absence followed the five-year string of postseason appearances but like the playoff-less 1996 and '97 seasons, the disappointing campaigns in 2003 and '04 have been followed by the most successful stretch in ASU's and Moore's storied gridiron history.
Altogether, Moore has coached 64 players that have earned all-America recognition a total of 91 times over the course of his 23 years at ASU.
Moore is no stranger to individual awards himself, as he is a three-time American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year (2005, 2006, 2007) and the only Division I (FCS or FBS) mentor in the 75-year history of the award to win it three years in a row. He also won the 2006 Eddie Robinson Award (National Coach of the Year) from The Sports Network, is a six-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year (1994, 1995, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009) and record eight-time SoCon Coach of the Year (1991, 1994, 1995, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010).
In 2009, he was named the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year, an award that included $50,000 for Moore's favorite charities and $20,000 for the ASU Alumni Association scholarship fund.
In addition to his 23-year tenure at ASU, Moore served as head coach at North Texas (1979-80) and Texas Tech (1981-85) and spent 15 seasons on the staffs of legendary mentors Hayden Fry, Tom Osborne and Ken Hatfield at SMU (1965-72), Nebraska (1973-78) and Arkansas (1988). Moore began his coaching career with four seasons as an assistant at Corsicana H.S. in Texas (1961-64). He also enjoyed a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii in 2006 to serve as an assistant coach in the Hula Bowl all-star game. Prior to embarking on his legendary coaching career, Moore made his mark as one of the nation's premier players at Baylor from 1958-60. He ranked among the nation's top 10 in receptions while serving as a team captain for the 11th-ranked Bears as a senior and graduated from BU with a bachelor's degree in finance and economics in 1961.
A native of Bonham, Texas, Moore was an all-state performer on the gridiron and earned 14 varsity letters in four sports at Bonham H.S. He is a member of the Bonham Athletics Hall of Fame. Bonham honored one of its most prominent sons when it declared Feb. 18, 2008, to be "Jerry Moore Day" in the town of 9,900 located 75 miles northeast of Dallas.
An active and well-respected member of the American Football Coaches Association, Moore is also active in various church and civic groups. His sense of community is most evident in his "never say no" philosophy with regards to the numerous speaking engagements that he is asked to participate in. As many as five nights a week, Moore travels across the Carolinas, the Southeast and the nation to appear at as many of the banquets, clinics and other engagements that he was asked to speak at as possible. A devoted family man, Moore is married to the former Margaret Starnes, also a Baylor alum. They have three children: Chris, Scott and Elizabeth, and six grandchildren. His grandson, Trey Kavanaugh, is a wide receiver for the Mountaineers.