By Mike Deak
WARSAW – The Moore basketball name will continue to impact the Warsaw community after Warsaw Community High School announced Saturday morning that Matt Moore will be chosen as the new high school boys basketball coach.
Matt, who served the past three years as boys basketball head coach at Fishers, will take over for Doug Ogle and the Tigers. Matt is the older brother of Scott and Marcus Moore. Scott is the head coach of Grace College’s men’s basketball program and Marcus guides the Grace women’s tennis program.
Moore comes back to the area after graduating from Columbia City High School in 1998. His coaching history has seen him make the rounds, first working with former Warsaw coaching icon Al Rhodes as a junior varsity coach at Logansport High School from 2003-06. Moore then served as a program assistant for another legendary coach, Jim Kessler, at Grace College which led to taking the head coaching job at Mount Vernon Nazarene University for five seasons.
Deciding to jump back into the high school ranks, Moore guided the Kokomo boys basketball program until 2014 and then headed to Fishers, where in his final two seasons, he won 17 and 18 games, both program records for wins as they were achieved. Fishers went 18-7 last season, it’s best record in school history.
“He’s the perfect fit for this position,” said WCHS athletic director Matt Binkerd during a Zoom conference call Saturday afternoon. “Matt was at the college level, but his dream job was to be a high school basketball coach. That really hit home with me, he’s been at the college level, but high school is where he wants to be at.”
Binkerd noted during the conference call that a pool of candidates were narrowed down to eight, to which Moore and one other were chosen as finalists. In-person meetings were held Thursday and the decision to go with Moore was made shortly after. Moore becomes only the third coach at Warsaw in the past 40 years, following Ogle (17) and Rhodes (22).
“With only two coaches there in 40 years, and I’m 40 years old, but it’s kind of surreal to mash that together,” Moore said during the Zoom conference call. “I grew up 21.3 miles from the Tiger Den. My memories of what Tiger basketball is, and the Tiger community, the Warsaw community, was a big reason why I chose Grace College and is a place that has become my home in a lot of ways.
“My entire family is there, my wife has family there. There is just a draw to the community that is a big pull for us.”
Moore and his wife, Anna, have four daughters and a son on the way in a matter of days.
Moore becomes the 17th head coach in the storied history of the Warsaw boys basketball program. Moore replaces Ogle, who retired after 35 combined years of basketball coaching at Warsaw. Ogle left the program after 275 varsity wins and over 500 total wins including his 18 years of junior varsity service under Rhodes.
“It’s important to understand where you are at,” Moore said. “In central Indiana, it’s a different beast in a lot of ways. I had to navigate moving down. In similar to moving back up there, there is a familiarity which is nice. But at the same time, utilizing people that have connections is going to be important.”
“At the end of the day, I’m going to continue to try to do what I’ve always done,” continued Moore. “I think if you step back and look at how that can be, it can bother some people. I kind of lean into that a little bit. It’s kind of my personality. I played for coach Kessler and he was an awesome mentor for me. He always said I was kind of a bulldog. I think that’s how my coaching philosophy is. I’m going to be prepared and step into it and compete and not shy away from expectations.”
Added WCHS principal Troy Akers, “This is a great occasion. I’m excited about that tenacity that we saw during the interviews and all the coaches that have ever coached this guy as a player have seen, I’m excited about the competitive intensity that Matt is going to bring. I think there are a lot of characteristics, and he is of high character, that he is going to not just be a basketball coach at Warsaw Community High School, much like Bart (Curtis, head football coach), they will help change the climate and make our climate a more positive place to be throughout the day. Couldn’t be any happier.”
Moore’s hiring will be made official pending WCS school board approval on April 27.