Wauseon will have a new – yet familiar – face roaming the sidelines for the 2019 football season. Shawn Moore, 39, paid his dues climbing up the coaching ladder at Wauseon Schools, and is now ready to take on a new challenge as head coach of the varsity squad.
A 1998 graduate of Wauseon, Moore has coached at various levels of the Wauseon program – from junior high to high school – since 2008. He got his start as a volunteer assistant coach at Edon from 2003-04. Most recently, he served as varsity assistant at Wauseon the past two seasons, even serving as interim coach in 2018 while Travis Cooper served a two-game suspension.
Moore is a sixth grade social studies and science teacher at Wauseon Middle School.
While it is unknown how successful he will be, Moore’s dedication to both the school and community are evident.
“I wanted the position because I love Wauseon, I love football, and I feel like I have a good connection with the players and the staff, making an easy transition,” said the new coach. “I feel like I am organized and will put everything I have into making the kids as successful as they can be.”
Moore certainly has experiences he can draw from, having played and coached under Mark Emans, while also serving as assistant under Cooper from 2015 to present. He learned a lot from each man.
“I played and coached for Mark Emans, and I have always admired his ability to connect with his players and get the most he can out of his players. He was never afraid of changing his offense to fit his personnel,” explained Moore of his predecessors. “Travis Cooper was very organized with his offseason activities, practices, scouting, and game plans. He taught me a tremendous amount about running a program and how to be prepared for just about anything.”
He will likely pull methods from each of his mentors, hoping to develop the right recipe for continued success.
“Our key for continuing the tradition of Wauseon football will be based on getting our players in the right position to be successful,” said Moore. “We will adapt to our personnel and make sure that our guys have the confidence to play fast and not have to think about what they are doing.”
The players already know Moore from his time as an assistant, so the transition should be a smooth one. He doesn’t describe himself as an in-your-face type of coach, instead using the expression ‘laid-back’ when referencing his coaching style.
“I have good connections with the players on a personal level, and hope to maximize everyone’s abilities,” stated Moore. “The team will be very disciplined and play physical, fast football.”
As mentioned, Moore got a trial run at being head coach during the middle of last season, taking over in weeks 5 and 6 for matchups with Bryan and Liberty Center. They fell narrowly to the Golden Bears, 14-7, then were shutout 34-0 at home to LC.
However, the opportunity gave him a chance to get his feet wet, game planning against two of the best teams in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League last season. In fact, both reached the playoffs.
“I think that was a good experience as far as game day preparation and what goes into that process,” said the first-year coach. “Being able to call plays in a varsity game was different as well. Those were the first games that I called plays in where the other team had prepared for us ahead of time. It was definitely different, but our players played hard against two of the best teams in the league those games, Bryan and Libety Center. The challenge now is that I will get to install whatever offense I want to run and feel will put our players in the best position to succeed rather than calling someone else’s plays. It will be on me to be prepared myself, and to prepare the players for everything they might see.”
Being as involved with the program as he has been the last decade plus – along with being a WHS alum – this is undoubtedly a dream position for Moore. He will look to make a positive impact, now as leader of the program.
“It is for sure a special situation for me,” he said. “I love Wauseon, the school, the players, and the coaches, and I have been given a lot of support so far from everyone. My main goal is for the players to be as successful as they can be on and off the field. And be the best they can be every day, every game, and every play. If we can do that, then good things will happen.”
Two-a-days begin Thursday, Aug. 1. Wauseon starts the regular season Aug. 30 when they visit Fairview.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010