By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
MANTACHIE – Lynn Moore’s three keys to building a successful football program are: pride, class and discipline.
Moore, 65, emphasized those needed ingredients Wednesday when he met his Mantachie High School football team for the first time. The Mustangs listened and they liked the message.
“Pride, class, discipline, we like that,” said senior defensive end Trent Ellis. “He wasn’t concerned with wins and losses as much as he was with doing things the right way.
“That impressed me.”
Moore, who has coached 39 previous seasons in Alabama (4), Georgia (1), Louisiana (8) and Mississippi (26), was recently named the Itawamba County school’s choice to replace Andrew Aldridge, who resigned after three straight losing seasons. Moore returns to Mississippi after serving the last two seasons as offensive coordinator for Anniston (Ala.) High School.
Moore’s no stranger to Northeast Mississippi having coached at Aberdeen, Itawamba AHS and West Point. He won a state championship in 1993 in Louisville.
He also served as athletics director at IAHS for two years before moving to Anniston. He was also a teacher for one semester five years ago at Mantachie.
“I’m excited about being at Mantachie High School,” Moore said during a Wednesday news conference. “We know this is going to be a challenge, but with all challenges come great opportunities.”
The Mustangs are members of Division 2-3A with Aberdeen, Mooreville, Nettleton, South Pontotoc and Water Valley.
Mantachie principal Jeff Credille, who served on the search committee, believes Moore was the best choice for the football program.
“He’s a proven leader,” Credille said. “Coach Moore brings wisdom and knowledge to the table. He’s never wavered in pride, class and discipline. We’re excited about that.”
Moore remains driven by his love of the game and working with young people.
“I still have a passion for the game of football and a passion for being a positive influence for young men and women,” he said. “We’re going to have fun at Mantachie. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Moore admits he’s a “run-first” coach, but says his offense and defense at Mantachie will be built around the talents of his players.
“We’re going to play as hard as we can play to get to the fourth quarter with a chance to win,” he said.