ACA searching for new coach after Moore’s resignation
By Tim Gayle
Alabama Christian Academy will be seeking its seventh head football coach in the last 17 years after school officials asked for the resignation of Bill Moore on June 2.
No reason was given for Moore’s resignation, but it may force the school to promote from within the staff because of its bad timing. Alabama schools will be spending the next few weeks at seven-on-seven camps – including one at the end of the month that ACA will be hosting – and will open fall practice in eight weeks on Aug. 7.
Misty Overman, head of school, announced the decision along with athletic director Scott Galloway via a schoolwide e-mail on June 5 and have refused comment in the days following the announcement. Overman was on a brief vacation on Monday and unavailable for comment.
Moore said the statement released by the school would serve as his only comment on the matter.
“After meeting with Dr. Overman and Coach Galloway, I am announcing my resignation from Alabama Christian,” the statement read. “I would like to thank the ACA Board and Administration for this amazing opportunity to serve the school as Head Football coach these past four years, as well as the faculty and staff for their tremendous support and camaraderie. I especially want to thank all of the players and coaches that I have been blessed to work with. Your sacrifice and dedication have had a tremendous impact on both my family and myself. I carry with me the blessing of lifelong relationships and wonderful memories. “
Moore was hired in 2013 to replace Leslie Mote after serving as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and assistant athletic director for Houston Christian High School since 2009. A 2000 graduate of Harding University, Moore began his coaching career as an assistant for Sanford at Northland Christian in Houston and was the offensive coordinator before moving on to Arkansas Baptist in 2006 and earning his first head coaching position at Fort Bend Christian in 2007-08.
Moore’s wife Rachel also taught at the school.
Moore’s first three years were rocky at the school, but he was reportedly given a raise after guiding the Eagles to a 4-7 season in 2016, marking their first return to the state playoffs since 2009 – which was also the last winning season for the program – and their first win over Trinity since 1998. The Eagles started 4-2 this season before losing to St. James, Catholic, Montgomery Academy and to Andalusia in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
In Moore’s first season, a 2-8 record in 2013, the Eagles allowed a school-record 432 points and gave up 60 or more points in three of their last four games. In 2014, the school moved up to 5A for the first time in school history and struggled to a 3-7 season, beating Prattville Christian, Fultondale and Booker T. Washington. In 2015, the Eagles finished last in Region 2 and their only win in a 1-9 season came against Fultondale.
The hiring of a new football coach will be the first major decision made by Galloway since taking over as athletic director in February, 2016. Galloway came to the school from the Atlanta area, where he directed a church sports ministry program. Prior to that, he had coached or directed programs in Texas and Oklahoma.
Two of the leading candidates for the position are currently at the school.
Offensive coordinator Nate Sanford has served as the head coach in at least two situations over the last 15 years. In 2001, he started the football program at Northland Christian School and went 55-15 over the next six seasons. In an ironic twist, he employed Moore as his offensive coordinator before coming to Alabama Christian in 2015-16 to serve as Moore’s offensive coordinator. He also coached a semi-pro team in 2010, the Arkansas Bengals, and was head coach in 2011-14 at The Woodlands Christian School, compiling 8-5, 5-5, 7-5 and 12-1 records at the school.
Defensive coordinator Michael Summers, a 2000 Alabama Christian graduate, started coaching at the school the following year and serves as the assistant coach for the highly successful softball program.
Another possible candidate is former Troy University special teams coordinator Shayne Wasden. Wasden received some interest from the school in the search for an athletic director that ultimately landed Galloway. One of the most successful head coaches in Alabama in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Wasden spent 12 years as an assistant under Larry Blakeney before retiring from coaching in December, 2015 to enter private business. He is interested in returning to coaching, although it’s questionable whether he would work under Galloway after considering that job in 2015.
A former standout at Meadowview Christian School and Auburn University, Wasden served as an assistant coach at Georgiana High in 1992 before taking over as head coach the following year. In 11 years as a head coach, he has compiled a 91-34 record and has only had a losing record once in stops at Georgiana, Opp and Eufaula. He went 12-1 and 13-1 in his two years at Georgiana and won nine or more games in five of his final six years as a head coach at Opp and Eufaula.
Whoever is hired as Moore’s successor, they will become the seventh head coach of the Eagles since Tim Perry left in 2000, but are likely to find the most available talent since Perry’s regime. Ten of 11 offensive starters and seven defensive starters return from last year’s team as Moore wrapped up spring drills with an intrasquad game on May 20.