No Moore: Oceanside football coach resignsElimination of job at RSU 13 led to 'tough decision' for veteran coach
Rockland — Just a few days before the start of preseason practices, the Oceanside High School football program was dealt a significant blow Aug. 10 when head coach Woody Moore tendered his resignation to Regional School Unit 13 athletic director Jim Leonard.
Prior to coaching the Mariners in the school's first year of existence last season, Moore had coached the Rockland football program the previous five years, leading the Tigers to two playoff appearances.
Moore was the health coordinator for RSU 13 before losing his job in June due to school budget cuts across the state, which included many school health coordinators.
Seventy percent of Moore's salary is funded through Healthy Maine Partnerships, which is primarily grant funding.
Funding changes to the state's 27 Healthy Maine Partnership Organizations essentially caused the elimination of Moore's position in RSU 13.
Mariner assistant coach Archie Stalcup will lead the Oceanside football team on an interim basis.
Stalcup was the head coach at La Salle University for two years, compiling a 5-16 record before resigning in 2002. He also has been an assistant coach for the Rockland and Camden Hills varsity football programs in recent years, coaching with the Windjammers the past two years prior to this season.
"On a personal and a professional level, I'm very, very sad," said Leonard. "[Moore] is a great friend, he's a great role model, he's a great coach and he's a great educator. He's one of the bright lights in the district and he's a guy that's impacted hundreds of kids every year, and now he's not here. RSU 13 is diminished without Woody Moore."
While Moore officially resigned Friday, he waited until the first practice Monday to inform his team of his decision.
"It was the toughest decision I've ever made," said Moore. "Monday was brutal. I kept it hush-hush until I had a chance to address the kids and I had a meltdown. It was rough."
The silver lining of the cloud, however, is should the 36-year-old Moore find a job in the short term, he would return to coaching the Mariners this season.
"Archie Stalcup would only take the head coaching reins if I called [the position] interim," said Leonard. "That's the only way he would do it, because he wanted Woody to be able to have a door to walk through."
It appears Stalcup will be paid the head coaching stipend for this season regardless of whether Moore returns to the team, though Leonard said if Moore comes back, "We'd revisit that."
Moore said the budget cut was only supposed to be one-third when proposed in February, which he had adequately prepared for.
Then after months of hearing no news, Moore received an email in mid-June from Healthy Maine Partnership Senior Program Manager Andrew Finch stating that Moore's position had been eliminated.
Moore, who has a wife, Becky, and three children, still has the remaining 30 percent of his salary through RSU 13, though he estimates that will run out in early October.
In a nutshell, Moore had a difficult choice to make.
"It was a coin flip," said Moore. "Do I chance it and see if something comes along and put my family and the team at risk, or do I take time now while I'm still getting paid and have benefits to look for something stable? I just kept going back to that [latter] being really the only choice."
Moore said he will not attend Mariner practices as he does not want to be a distraction to the team.
"If I'm going to be there, I'm going to be there," said Moore. "If I'm not, I'm going to do whatever I can to help Archie be successful, whatever that means. If that means getting kids to practice or helping him with paperwork and things like that, I'll do all of that."
Moore, while distraught over the way his life has been impacted by the budget cuts, said he plans to "keep pounding the pavement and hopefully something comes up."
"[Principal] Tom [Forti] and Jim did everything they could and approached every angle they could to try and make something work," Moore said. "But being so late in the game, with budgets already being approved, it's just tough. The school has been extremely supportive, but their hands are tied. They can't just create a job because the football coach needs to be paid."
The Mariners open the 2012 regular season on Friday night, Aug. 31 against Nokomis of Newport at home at Wasgatt Field on Thomaston Street.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.