By Tim Ashley
WARSAW — Sometimes the pull of being closer to family is enough to cause one to leave what may be a more lucrative job. So when Warsaw Community High School contacted Matt Moore about being the new boys basketball coach, “this was home, I have siblings living here and I could be close to my family,” Moore said.
Moore grew up in Columbia City and graduated from high school there in 1998, then went on to Grace College on an athletic scholarship where he was a four-year starter for the men’s basketball team. He had also been a four-year starter for the Columbia City Eagles boys basketball team.
Both his parents were teachers and he said he knew as far back as elementary school he wanted to be a coach. In 2002, Moore graduated from Grace with a degree in secondary education/business. Three years later in 2005, he earned a master’s degree in physical education from Ball State University.
His first teaching job was at Woodlan High School near Fort Wayne for one year and also during that time, he was an assistant basketball coach at Grace College. After Woodlan, Moore followed Al Rhodes, who had been the boys basketball coach at Warsaw, to Logansport High School to be the varsity assistant basketball coach for Rhodes.
While at Logansport, Moore taught classes in the career center. After three years at Logansport — three years would become a pattern — Moore came back to Grace to be the associate head men’s basketball coach with Jim Kessler. While in this position, Moore was able to coach two brothers of his who are twins during their senior year at Grace.
After three years at Grace, it was on to Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio for his first head coaching job, though this time for five years. At this time, “I started having a family and made a decision” to accept the head coaching job for boys basketball at Kokomo High School. “I had spent a lot of time recruiting on the road.”
Moore said he had a goal of being a head basketball coach at the high school level and Kokomo was the opportunity to meet that goal. He began at Kokomo in the 2014-15 school year and stayed three years until accepting the head coaching job for boys basketball at Fishers High School in the Indianapolis metro area.
Concerning the pattern of staying three years at a school, he said “I enjoy the process of rebuilding,” noting at Fishers the boys basketball team set the record for most wins in a season while he coached there. Though he really enjoyed his time at Fishers, one of the fastest growing areas in the entire state, the opportunity to be closer to family was too good to pass up and he accepted the head coaching position of the boys basketball team, replacing long time coach Doug Ogle.
Moore said the Warsaw basketball program has a history of being supported with consistency by the community and that is a big deal to him and his family. “I want to try to be a sustainer of that now,” he said.
He added, “I wanted a sense of community for my kids and also a supporting community.”
Moore will also be the dean of attendance at Warsaw High School and the events coordinator for elementary age basketball and track in the school system. In his role as dean of attendance, he will encourage students to get to school and class on time. Classes began in person Aug. 18 and he admitted it will be more of a challenge with COVID-19.
In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and weight lifting. Fishing at a friend’s pond is preferred, but Pike Lake is among the other options.
Matt and his wife, Anna, live in Winona Lake just a few houses away from his parents, Jack and Judy Moore. Matt and Anna have five children: daughters Makenna, 11; Mya, 9; Madilyn, 6; Melody, 3; and a newborn son, Maddox, born in May.