Sitting at home the past two months gave Scott Moore time to think about what he wanted with the rest of his career. It was time, he decided, to make the jump and become a head football coach after assisting at Hermitage for the past 18 seasons.
Moore, 52, has been hired as King William’s football coach, returning him to the school where he graduated in 1986.
“The COVID-19 shutdown has given us all time for reflection,” Moore said.
He replaces Dylan DeHart, who was dismissed in February after seven seasons.
At first, Moore didn’t apply. Then he realized if a younger coach got the job and stayed for many years, Moore may not have another opportunity. Coaching at his alma mater, he realized, was his dream job. He decided to go for it.
Under coach Patrick Kane, Hermitage enjoyed years of success. When Kane resigned after the 2017 season, the Panthers were coming off an 11-2 record and had won 77 straight Colonial District games. Kane left coaching to become a real estate agent.
The coaching staff under Kane was like a family, Moore said. The idea of building something like that at his alma mater was appealing.
“It just seemed to work out at the exact right time,” Moore said.
Moore played football at William & Mary, and when he became a history teacher and high school coach, he thought about one day succeeding King William coach Roger Brookes, who won 274 games, second most in the Richmond area. Then Moore got the job at Hermitage, and the program was a perennial success. If there was any school he’d ever leave for, he said, it would be King William.
He applied for the football coaching job at King William in 2010 but didn’t get it. When the job came open later, he opted to stay at Hermitage. This time, when the job opened earlier this year, he had changed his mind.
He’ll take a lot of learned experiences with him, including an attention to detail. For Kane, there were no trivial details, Moore said. From practice to the structure of the program, everything was organized, Moore said.
Because of the pandemic, Moore interviewed for the job over Google Meet. It was a different experience, but he’s gotten used to Zoom and virtual meetings during the past two months.
It’s unclear when Moore will be able to meet his players in person, but it’s clear it won’t be soon. For now, he’s making phone calls to introduce himself.
He inherits a team that went 9-4 last year and dismissed its coach in February. DeHart went 56-25 at King William and had winning seasons in six of his seven seasons. But he was told earlier this year that his contract wouldn’t be renewed, and he wasn’t given a reason. School administrations typically do not need cause to remove a football coach.
“I am very disappointed and have no idea why this happened,” DeHart said at the time.
More than 1,000 people signed an online petition to keep DeHart, and a number of community members protested the decision at a school board meeting.