High school boys basketball

Moro 'ready for challenge' as next Windjammers' hoop coach

He replaces Jeff Hart, who coached 37 years, and now is school's athletic director
By Mark Haskell | Jul 18, 2019
Courtesy of: Camden Hills Regional High School Jon Moro.

Rockport — It should come as little surprise that one of new Camden Hills Regional High School athletic director Jeff Hart’s first orders of business would be to find his successor to guide the Windjammer boys varsity basketball team.

And, Hart did not have to look far, as he tabbed one of his former players — with whom he won his first gold ball — to take his spot on the bench.

Hart announced on Tuesday, July 16 that 39-year-old Jon Moro of Rockport would be the school’s new varsity basketball coach. Moro works in the transitional life skills program at CHRHS and also as an ed tech for the past four years. Moro also was an assistant coach under Hart for several years and has coached at the school or in the district's youth programs for years.

Moro, also an accomplished sculptor and artist, replaces Hart, who held the position 37 years — and won more than 500 games and six state Class B titles. Hart is the school's new athletic director.

As a 1999 graduate of then Camden-Rockport High School, Moro was a starter on the 1998-99 team that won the school’s second state Class B championship and first under coach Hart, who coached the Windjammers to six total state crowns.

Moro was a standout three-sport athlete — soccer, basketball and baseball — for the Windjammers and also was a two-time Courier Publications/VillageSoup (formerly The Courier-Gazette) athlete of the year, winning the honor in back-to-back years in 1996-96 and 1997-98.

“I’m really excited to have Jon take over this program,” said Hart. “The best thing about Jon is that he is so genuine. He epitomizes class and character and he is going to be great. Jon was a tremendous three-sport athlete in high school and he loves the competition. I really can’t wait to see him blossom into this role.”

After high school, Moro attended Colby College in Waterville two years, where he played basketball and baseball for the Mules. Then, after taking time off, he finished school with an art degree from the University of Maine at Augusta.

He began as a varsity baseball assistant at Camden Hills in 2006 and held that position for roughly seven years, while most recently he has coached the boys freshmen and junior varsity soccer teams, along with the boys freshmen basketball and jayvee baseball teams.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Moro. “As someone who has gone through the program, I felt I had a little bit of responsibility, having coached the freshmen team for several years to keep that legacy going.”

In lieu of his appointment, Moro has stepped down as boys freshmen soccer coach, but has not made a decision about jayvee baseball.

Moro, who often can be seen playing pickup basketball at the Penobscot Bay YMCA, has fond memories of the team’s 64-43 win over York to win the state Class B championship, but now will have those same aspirations leading the Windjammers from the bench.

“My attitude [as a player] was 100 percent, all-out commitment to defense,” he said. “I always saw myself as a defensive stopper. My niche was to play really in-your-face defense and took the shots that came. A lot of us did that and that’s why we were so successful.”

As a young player, Moro recalled Hart coming to a youth clinic he participated in and a piece of advice the veteran coach imparted stuck with him all these years later:

“He said, ‘Look there’s 40 of you out here, only 12 are going to make a varsity team, so do what you have to do to get there if that’s what you want,' " he said. “And I really bought into that as a player. I always wanted to be the hardest-working player on the court.”

Moro emphasized “buying into the process” as a big part of why those teams that annually competed for conference, regional and state championships were so successful and hopes to instill that credo onto his players moving forward.

“If kids know you care, they’re going to be a lot more receptive to what you’re trying to teach on the court,” he said. “So for me, relationships with the players is the most important part. I have hopes and expectations, but the ultimate goal is to get your team to play the best they possibly can.”

Moro admits he still has “a lot to work on” to get to where he wants to be as a varsity coach and “things that I can improve on,” but he also has a buffer with six state titles down the hall should the need arise.

“I welcome his observations and opinions,” he said. “Our relationship is really solid.”

Moro said his team is certainly good enough to compete in Class A, but was quick to point out that “winning to me is a process.”

“It’s not you’re a winner or a loser,” he said. “It’s a process of doing things the right way over a long period of time. That’s how you get excellent.

“I’m ready for the challenge.”

Comments (4)
Posted by: A Parker | Jul 23, 2019 21:12

Good for you Jon.

Can't wait to seat front row and watch your kids play.



Posted by: Doug Curtis Jr. | Jul 20, 2019 22:43

An excellent choice Jeff. What an outstanding young man. Congratulations Jon and best of luck except when you come to Rockland.

 



Posted by: kathleen zwick | Jul 19, 2019 09:20

Congratulations, Jon!



Posted by: Ria Biley | Jul 18, 2019 17:29

Congratulations, Jon! An exciting step up for you!



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