Update: See below photos of former ASU football head coach Jerry Moore at at the 57th annual NFF Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Tuesday night, where Moore was officially inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
By Jesse Wood
Dec. 9, 2014. The National Football Foundation held a press conference this morning for the players and coaches who will be inducted into the 2014 class of the College Football Hall of Fame tonight, and moderator Bonnie Bernstein saved the best interviewee for last – Jerry Moore.
Before introducing the entire the class, however, Bernstein began by putting the accomplishments of the inductees into context. She noted that 5 million people have played college football since the first game played in 1869. Of those five million individuals, only 948 have been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. For coaches, only 207 have been inducted.
“Translation 2/10 thousandths of 1 percent,” Bernstein said. “Gentleman you are among the greatest that this game has ever seen. I’m sure that’s started to sink in as you’ve thought about what you want to say here today.”
The 2014 class includes Dre Bly (UNC), Tony Boselli (USC), Dave Butz(Purdue), Shane Conlan (Penn State), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech),John Huard (Maine), Darrin Nelson (Stanford), Willie Roaf (Louisiana Tech), John Sciarra (UCLA), Sterling Sharpe (South Carolina.),Leonard Smith (McNeese State), the late Derrick Thomas (Alabama),LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU), Wesley Walls (Ole Miss) and coaches Mike Bellotti (Oregon, Chico State [Calif.])) and Jerry Moore (North Texas, Texas Tech, ASU).
When it was Moore’s time to finally speak, Bernstein noted that Moore had the most wins of any coach in the Southern Conference and ASU history. She mentioned the three consecutive national FCS championships and, of course, Moore being the “architect” of upset at Ann Arbor, Mich., that shocked the sports world.
And then Moore took it from there. Here’s a transcript of Moore and Bernstein:
JERRY MOORE: It’s a privilege and honor to be here. You sit and listen to all these men talk about how they got here. Almost all of us have the same track. We’re grateful for people. It’s such an honor to be in here and to be able to spend a few minutes with you and just talk about how you got here and the things that happened.
Besides my spiritual life and my family, there’s nothing that’s ever meant any more to me than coaching. I wanted to be a football coach from the time I was a sophomore in high school. I played on a high school football team. Seems like every one of us were from small towns. I got a note before I came here from a girl I kind of admired, she was our drum major. She said something to me or wrote a note to me about the boy who sat on the curb and waited for other guys to come out and play. We didn’t even have curbs in town (laughter). We used to celebrate if we won the coin toss when I was a freshman in high school. We had some coaches that came in, just like these other fellows, that changed our lives, everything that we wanted.
I learned very early as maybe a sophomore, junior in high school from my parents, from coaches, teachers, Don’t disappoint people. I’ve tried to keep that in the back of my mind as I’ve gone through the profession as a player and as a coach, is not to disappoint people. When I think about that, I was so blessed to be around the right people. My high school coach, everybody mentioned. Then I got to Baylor. I was hoping you were going to ask me something about Baylor.
BONNIE BERNSTEIN: I can ask you about Baylor.
JERRY MOORE: Hayden Fry, I played for Coach Fry, coached for him, Coach Osborne at Nebraska, Coach Hatfield at Arkansas. It just doesn’t get any better than that as far as coaching and people are concerned.
BONNIE BERNSTEIN: Appalachian State is playing with the big boys now, Sunbelt Conference this year. What is it like knowing you had such a big role in the success that enabled the program to elevate to the FBS?
JERRY MOORE: I don’t think we ever really thought about it as a big role. We wanted to do the best that we could. Just like I mentioned, we didn’t want to disappoint people. I think them and Georgia Southern both will do well because they’ve got tradition, they’ve got history, they’ve got great support.
The players were honored at the induction ceremony Tuesday night at the 57th annual NFF Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. See photos from the event below. Photos courtesy NFF/Mike McLaughlin Photography.