The winningest coach in Appalachian State University and Southern Conference history, Moore compiled a 215-87 record in his 24 seasons at Appalachian State (1989-2012), including 10 SoCon championships, 18 postseason appearances and an unprecedented three-straight NCAA Division I FCS/I-AA national titles (2005-07). In 31 years as a head coach, Moore was 242-135-2, which is good for 15th all-time among NCAA Division I coaches. In 2012 alone, Moore passed coaching legends Bo Schembechler (234 victories), Billy Joe (237) and Woody Hayes (238) on the all-time wins list.
While he enjoyed success at nearly every stop of his 51-year coaching career, his 24 seasons at Appalachian State cemented Moores standing as one of college footballs all-time great mentors.
He led the Mountaineers to three-consecutive national championships from 2005-07, making Appalachian the first program to ever win three-straight titles at the FCS level and the first Division I institution (FCS or FBS) to accomplish the feat in 61 years. Appalachian 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 national-title game, a feat it repeated with wins over Massachusetts (28-17) and Delaware (49-21) in the 2006 and 07 NCAA Division I Football Championship finals.
Moore also led the Mountaineers to seven SoCon championships in an eight-year span (2005-10, 12), making Appalachian State only the second program to achieve that feat since the venerable league began crowning a champion in 1933. Appalachian won 26-straight conference games the second-longest run of league victories in SoCon history and the longest in 51 years from 2007-10.
Additionally, Appalachian State became a household name when Moore led his troops to perhaps the biggest and most prominent upset in college football history, a 34-32 triumph over the University of Michigan in the 2007 season opener. The victory over Michigan, college footballs all-time winningest program which came into the contest ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, marked the first time that an FCS team ever toppled a nationally ranked FBS opponent. The victory also compelled the AP to change its long-standing history of only accepting votes for FBS teams in its Top 25 poll, which allowed the Mountaineers to become the first FCS team to ever receive votes in the poll, which they did on three occasions in 2007.
Moore is no stranger to individual awards, as he is a three-time American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year (2005, 06, 07) and the only Division I (FCS or FBS) mentor in the 77-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, 95, 2005, 06, 08, 09, 10) and a record eight-time SoCon Coach of the Year (1991, 94, 95, 2005, 06, 08, 09, 10). In 2009, he was named the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year, an award that included $50,000 for Moores favorite charities and $20,000 for the Appalachian State Alumni Association scholarship fund. He was inducted to the Southern Conference Hall of Fame in March.
Under Moore, Appalachian State players earned all-conference recognition 257 times and received all-America honors on 99 occasions. He also coached the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award (FCS National Player of the Year), Armanti Edwards in 2008 and 09, and the only two-time winner of the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS National Defensive Player of the Year), Dexter Coakley in 1995 and 96.
In addition to his nearly quarter-century tenure at Appalachian State, Moore also 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 (1965-72 at SMU), Tom Osborne (1973-78 at Nebraska) and Ken Hatfield (1988 at Arkansas). Moore began his coaching career with four seasons as an assistant coach at Corsicana H.S. in Texas (1961-64).
Prior to embarking on his legendary coaching career, Moore made his mark as one of the nations premier players at Baylor from 1958-60. He ranked among the nations top 10 in receptions while serving as a team captain for the 11th-ranked Bears as a senior and graduated from Baylor with a bachelors 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 and the town honored one of its most prominent sons when it declared Feb. 18, 2008 to be Jerry Moore Day in the hamlet of 9,900 located 75 miles northeast of Dallas.
Moore was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Generally, coaches are not eligible for induction until three years following their exit from coaching but coaches over 70 years of age become eligible immediately following the end of their coaching careers. Schools submitted nominations for the Halls Class of 2014 last fall and Moore was elected from a national ballot that included 162 players and 12 coaches.
Joining Moore in the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class are college-football legends Dre Bly (DB, North Carolina, 1996-98), Tony Boselli (OT, Southern Cal, 1991-94), Dave Butz (DT, Purdue, 1970-72), Shane Conlan (LB, Penn State, 1983-86), Joe Hamilton (QB, Georgia Tech, 1996-99), John Huard (LB, Maine, 1964-66), Darrin Nelson (HB, Stanford, 1977-78, 1980-81), Willie Roaf (OL, Louisiana Tech, 1990-92), John Sciarra (QB, UCLA, 1972-75), Sterling Sharpe (WR, South Carolina, 1983, 1985-87), Leonard Smith (CB, McNeese State, 1979-82), Derrick Thomas (LB, Alabama, 1985-88), LaDainian Tomlinson (TB, TCU, 1997-2000), Wesley Walls (TE, Mississippi, 1985-88) and coach Mike Bellotti (Chico State, 1984-88 and Oregon, 1995-2008).
Moore is Appalachian States second College Football Hall of Famer, joining linebacker Dexter Coakley, who was inducted in 2011.
In addition to Decembers induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria, Moore will also be honored with the other 15 inductees during a National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015. His accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the new $66.5-million College Football Hall of Fame, which currently under construction in Atlanta and scheduled to open in August.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class:
Oregon, Chico State coach Mike Bellotti
North Carolina cornerback Dré Bly
USC offensive tackle Tony Boselli
Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz
Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan
Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton
Maine linebacker John Huard
Appalachian State, Texas Tech, North Texas coach Jerry Moore
Stanford running back Darrin Nelson
Louisiana Tech offensive lineman Willie Roaf
UCLA quarterback John Sciarra
South Carolina tight end Sterling Sharpe
McNeese State cornerback Leonard Smith
Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas
TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson
Ole Miss tight end Wesley Walls
Photo Courtesy: Jerry Moore, App State Athletics