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Center Grove football coach earns track and field honor


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During 14 seasons at Center Grove, Eric Moore has firmly established himself as one of the state’s top high school football coaches.

Seven sectional and regional titles, two semistate crowns and a state championship attest to that.

But on the track and field front, Moore — the Trojans boys coach — has carved a similar winning identity.

Nine sectional titles, a regional crown and one team state champion speak to that.

Clearly, the National Federation of State School Associations has listened.

Moore, the Trojans football and track coach since 1999, has been named the NFHS Coaches Association 2012 Coach of the Year for boys track and field in Indiana.

Moore, who guided the Trojans to the team state title in 2011, learned of the honor Tuesday morning — about two months after leading the football team to its fourth Class 5A semistate appearance in the past five years.

“It means a lot to me. It’s an extreme honor and a privilege to get an award like this,” said Moore, who has led the track team to six consecutive sectional championships. “I have the utmost respect and pride for track and field.”

Proof is in the results.

One of the state’s top programs the past 13 seasons, Center Grove has won six straight sectional titles. In 2011, the Trojans became the first Johnson County track squad to win a team state championship.

Moore attributes the success to dedicated athletes, many of whom play football, and the input from longtime assistant coaches Howard Harrell and Brad Timmons. Both have been with Moore his entire Center Grove career.

“I’m blessed with the kind of athletes that want to come to school every day and work in track as well as football,” Moore said. “I’m blessed to have two coaches that have been with me the whole time.

“Brad Timmons and Howard Harrell are extremely important to the program and to myself in being able to do two sports.”

Moore has long insisted that his passion for track equals that for football. He regards each an extension of the other and mutually beneficial for athletes who compete in both.

Football reputation and time-commitment notwithstanding, he has no plans to give up track. Not now, not ever.

“I really wouldn’t take a football job unless I could have the head track job, as well,” said Moore, who led the football team to the 2008 state championship. “That way I can sort of control what my athletes do in the offseason. I think it’s a great fit. The two sports fit together well.

“Usually, it’s been my (philosophy) that if you’ve got a really good track program, you’re probably going to have a really good football program.”

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