Tim Moore Back Home Again As South Pittsburg Football Coach

Former Prep Great Was Standout In 1978 Before Going To Vanderbilt

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - by John Hunt

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. -- All the folks in this small town take their football seriously.  If you ever wanted to rob a bank here, Friday night would be a good choice because everyone goes to Beene Stadium to watch the hometown Pirates.

Next to religion, South Pittsburg football ranks real high on the priority list.

The Pirates have built quite a reputation for their football success in recent years.  Going to the playoffs is just an extention of the regular season and the Pirates have captured five state titles since 1969, the last in 2010.

A playoff record of 64-25 just proves how successful they've been on the football field.

The late Don Grider was the coach for the Pirates for many years while his son Vic followed in his footsteps and won 169 games while losing just 40.

The younger Grider decided to step down as the head coach following 2012.  They named a replacement earlier this year, but things didn't work out and the new coach resigned shortly after taking the job.

That was like a blessing in disguise for former South Pittsburg star Tim Moore.

Moore was an All-State lineman for the Pirates before graduating in 1978.  He then headed to Vanderbilt where he played for Fred Pancoast and later George McIntyre.

Since that time, Moore has coached in college for nine years and he spent seven years as the head coach at Battle Ground Academy.  Last year, he was the defensive coordinator at LaVergne High School.

And now the 53-year-old husband of Kim and father of two grown children named Katie and Connor has made the full circle as he returns as head coach for the school where he starred as a teenager.

"It's exciting to come back and see people I've known from years ago," Moore said before practice earlier this week.

"I didn't even know the position was open the first time and I missed the deadline to apply.  When the job became available again, I applied and now I have the job.

"So far, it's been an adjustment period for me and the players as we're still getting to know each other, but I can promise you they couldn't find anyone for this job who loves South Pittsburg any more than I do.  We have a lot of talent on this team with 12 of our 38 players being seniors.

"They know what it takes to win.  It's my job to make sure they're prepared every Friday night.  Those 12 who are seniors were freshmen on their last state championship team.  Even though they probably didn't play much then, they know what it took to get there," the stout 6-3, 295-pound Moore said matter of factly.

"We just want to represent our school and this community well.  We have enough experience on the team to be good, but we're ready to play somebody.  We've done all the scrimmages and all the jamboree stuff, but we're ready to play a game for real to see what happens.

"My goal for this year is for us to be as successful as we can be.  To be able to play as long as we can and go as far as we can.  If we can do that, I'll be happy," he continued.

The Pirates will be on the road Friday night for a game at Bell County, Kentucky.  They return for their home opener next Friday against the Hixson Wildcats.

South Pittsburg is picked atop the District 6-A standings along side arch-rival and neighboring Marion County.  These two teams used to open the season against each other, but this year's battle will take place in Jasper on November 1, the final week of the regular season.

"That's always been a big game for South Pittsburg.  And now that we're in the same district, it makes it even bigger and more significant," Moore reflected.

Kitt Grider is a junior who has earned the job of starting quarterback, Grider, no kin to the former coach, started at North Jackson for the past two years before transferring to South Pittsburg.

Moore is looking for positive production from guys like JaJuan Langford and Kahlil Mitchell, a pair of seniors who'll get plenty of chances at halfback and fullback.  Junior Corbin Fitzgerald will also get a chance to help out and may even play quarterback at times.

The Pirates have the manpower to be a force once again.  And now that a former Pirate is back on the sideline as the head coach, there's a positive buzz all around town.

"It's good to be back in the role of head coach and for it to be here at the school where I played makes it even more special.  The stadium has changed a little bit, but the field is still the same.  It's still the same ground where I played my high school football," the new coach concluded.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


PHOTOS: Lookouts Celebrate Winning Second-Half Title

Four weeks ago, no one would have expected the Lookouts would be even close to winning the second-half title. An 11-game winning streak put them into the race and when they swept the Tennessee Smokies Sunday they had concluded an incredible comeback. The Smokies were still in a position to win before Chris O'Brien's pinch-hit triple plated Corey Seager and O'Koyea Dickson with ... (click for more)

Phillips, Thompson Win FCA Races At Chattanooga State

Geno Phillips and Dean Thompson didn’t have much competition Monday morning in the FCA races at Chattanooga State. Phillips was victorious in the 10K with a time of 35 minutes and one second as he beat runner-up Andy Highlander by almost two minutes.   Highlander was timed in 36:48. Thompson was the winner in the 5K with a time of 17 minutes, two ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)