Website – woosterathletics.com
Email – SMOORE@wooster.edu
Twitter – @ScotsBasketball
Coach Steve Moore retired at the end of the 2019-2020 basketball season after amassing a 38-year career record of 846-245, including an extraordinary mark of 759-180 the past 32 seasons at The College of Wooster in the state of Ohio, which puts him No. 2 in wins among Div. III coaches all-time. The winningest coach at Wooster’s tradition-rich program, Moore directed the Fighting Scots to 27 NCAA Tournament berths and a league-high 18 North Coast Athletic Conference championships, while compiling a winning percentage of .808.
Moore has been named NCAC Coach of the Year nine times and the NABC District Coach of the Year for the Great Lakes five times. Also following the 2002-03 season, he was voted the Ohio College Basketball Coach of the Year and in April 2008, the NABC presented him a prestigious “Guardian of the Game” award for education, an honor also once bestowed on the legendary John Wooden.
He owns a career win percentage of .775, ranking him No. 2 in that category all-time (min. 10 years) in Division III.
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If you haven’t grabbed your notebook go get it now, so you don’t miss anything as you listen to our conversation with Steve Moore from The College of Wooster in the state of Ohio.
What We Discuss with Steve Moore
- How watching games at Bowling Green & Ashland inspired him to want to play college basketball
- The quality of play in D3 basketball
- The intangibles he looks for in a recruit
- His first coaching job as a JV coach at Springfield High School
- Making the leap to become a graduate assistant at Ohio U.
- What makes a good assistant coach and why loyalty is so important
- Why every player on a successful team must make sacrifices
- Everything starts with good people and you build a program from there
- Players leading the culture and passing it on to younger players
- His first head coaching job at Muhlenberg College
- Tips for motivating players
- Balancing family life and coaching
- How to establish discipline in a new program
- Why defining roles for assistant coaches is important
- Why Wooster was the perfect place for him
- Relationships are the most important aspect of coaching
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THANKS, STEVE MOORE
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TRANSCRIPT FOR STEVE MOORE – RETIRED HEAD COACH AT THE COLLEGE OF WOOSTER (OH) 2ND ALL-TIME IN WINS IN D3 – EPISODE 292
[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my cohost Jason Sunkle tonight We are honored to be joined on the podcast by long time College of Wooster Fighting Scott Head Coach Steve Moore. Steve, welcome to the podcast.
Steve Moore: Thank you, Mike. Good to be with you guys.
Mike Klinzing: We are very excited to be able to have someone as accomplished as you are in the coaching profession with us tonight.
And we wanted to dig into your entire basketball journey and go back to the very start when you were a young kid and just talk to us a little bit about how you got into the game of basketball when you were a child
Steve Moore: lots of years ago. I certainly remember playing. Peewee basketball, I think I was in the fourth grade and there were a couple of gentlemen in the, in the community.
I don’t think they had sons at that time our age, but, they, they thought that best having a youth basketball [00:01:00] program was so important. So in Monroeville high, Ohio, small rural, small town near Norwalk, Anson dusky, that’s where I was my hometown, Monroeville, Ohio. And, these two gentlemen, started a Saturday morning.
A league for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. And we basically just played games. but we got indoctrinated in the game. And, it just, it was a lot of fun and, just made me want to keep playing the game.
Mike Klinzing: And so when you got that taste of quote organized basketball, then did you find yourself.
Playing out on your driveway with your friends in the neighborhood, or did you just stick with that program or were you playing everywhere in anything? I’m sure you’re playing multiple sports when you were a kid out in the, those sort of the Sandlot.
Steve Moore: Yes. that was it back in the days. we had, you know, we were in the gyms that much, so Sandlot, baseball and football, but, yeah, we had, I had a [00:02:00] basket in the driveway.
Up against our bar and that we had and I would go out there and shoot all the time, even remembers shooting when it was snowing and, shoveled the snow so I could, you know, have a court to shoot on. And yeah, those are some good memories. A lot of outside basketball in those days.
Mike Klinzing: Was basketball your number one thing right from the beginning or were other sports sort of its equal until you got a little bit older.
Steve Moore: I would say basketball and baseball. We had a good loom league baseball system and in our town, and, we play a lot of baseball. So probably up until junior high baseball was right there. But, they starting in junior high, basketball started being a favorite.
Mike Klinzing: Once you started focusing in on basketball, do you remember what you did to improve yourself as a player?
What were some of the things that. Did you go and find games in other communities? Did you just work by yourself? [00:03:00] Just explain a little bit of your process about how you tried to get better and improve as a plier?
Steve Moore: Well, in high school, it was a lot on my own. once again, outdoors, because in the summers we didn’t have open gyms, you know, in those days, back in the 60s, late sixties and seventies.
they, they didn’t have, the coaches didn’t open the gym. You just played out in the playground. And so, I would play out on the course outside the high school, a lot with guys in Mar town, high school, but, also would go to Norwalk, some that was a bigger town, about five miles away. And I remember going over there and playing on the outdoor courts, in Norwalk.
So, yeah, in high school. I did those things. And then once I got into college, of course, in the summer times I was working road construction. And, one summer I was in Warren, Ohio, and had to scout around and find guys to play with. [00:04:00] And then, last couple of years when I was working road construction, and it’s closer to home in Sandusky.
And so I would drive from a, actually, the job I was working on was in Vermilion, which is. Right down the road from us, Invesco. So I would drive from job, be finished, finish work in Vermilion. I would drive over to Sandusky and play on the playground there. It was a guy named Scott May, who was a couple of years younger than me, but, he was back home from Indiana playing on the court.
So guys like that I got to play against in the summer.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. That’s one of the things that I think kids today miss out on is that playground culture. We’ve talked about it with a lot of coaches who are my age 50 and older that just remember those playground basketball days and just how people would congregate and you’d have certain days and certain courts where some of the best players are.
There was guys home from college or just really good players would congregate and it’s something that today. I still think that’s one of the [00:05:00] saddest was the way to say it, but just I’m always, I’m always disappointed that the playground culture of basketball is gone. And obviously there’s some benefits to kids moving indoors and to gyms, and I think there’s better coaching that kids are exposed to earlier, but I think they missed out on something with that playground, pickup basketball that you and I sort of grew up with.
Steve Moore: I agree. My goals are a lot of fun. Those were fun days. you know, sometimes you get a 40, 50 guys there. And on one court and you’d have to wait your turn. And when you got on the court, you put it hard. Cause if he lost you get out, you were off the court and it made you really work hard. It was competitive thing and it was a lot of fun too.
Mike Klinzing: I agree. Some of my best memories of basketball are just not so much with the organized teams that I’ve played on all through my youth and then on up through high school and college. But I just think about my time on the playground. The friends that I’ve made and just those memories are, are really, really special to me.
when you think about your high school career, [00:06:00] at what point did you start to consider or think or desire to play college basketball? What point did that start to come onto your radar?
Steve Moore: Well. I do remember specifically, when I was in high school, our, you know, back in those days, you didn’t see as many college games on TV.
And, today there’s just the game on all the time. But back, in the late sixties, in 1970, I graduated from high school in 1970. There weren’t that many games on TV. And, but our high school coach, Jerry Everhart. Took us, my junior year, we went up to a bowling green. He took us to a game there in bowling green, was playing Finley, and I just got so excited about basketball that game, watching that game, live at bowling green state university.
I just saw such a intensity and hard work, which I’d never seen before. And, that just, I think that turned me on the [00:07:00] basketball more than anything. And made me think, well, I sure love to play college basketball. And then the next year, my senior year, coached to Ashland university, so Bill Musselman was a coach there.
And boy, I was amazed at the talent level there. And, in fact, they were playing Wittenberg, where I ended up playing. I had no idea I would end up playing there, watch those games. And, That just inspired me to watch those college games in person, and I think that’s when I decided I really would like to play in college.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I think that’s something that is another thing that is sort of lost in today’s world, especially with kids and the amount of distractions that they have in terms of computers and phones and all these different things. I’m not sure. That if you compare, I just know the number of games that I went to when I was a kid, whether it’s college games or, my dad was a professor at Cleveland state, so I went to a lot of Cleveland state [00:08:00] games, something because he was.
Down at work. And then my mom and my sister would drive down after work and go and see a Cleveland state game. And I went to tons of high school games at my, in my hometown here in Strongsville. And I think that that’s something that, what you mentioned is when you watch that is then it made you. Want to aspire to be able to do those same things that you were watching.
And that was something that meant a lot to me too. I would go to stronger games when I was fourth or fifth grade, and I’d want to be a part of that program, and then I would see college basketball. I’m like, man, that’s, that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to do that. And I think sometimes that’s missing in today’s kids because they just, it’s more like colleges in idea as opposed to.
They’ve really seen a lot of games. I know we’ve talked to some other division three coaches. I’m probably sure you could speak to this too, is when you’re recruiting kids, we’ve had other coaches say that, you know, there’ll be sitting in the room with a, with a recruit and his parents and say, well, you know, they, the kids kind of like, well, I’m not sure I want to go to division three.
I think I’m better than that level. [00:09:00] And the coach will say, well, have you ever been to a division three game? Have you ever seen. The level of skill that it takes to play at this level. And I think a lot of times kids just aren’t seeing those games. Have you found that when you were recruiting kids that kids, you were talking to them never even seen a division three game?
Steve Moore: Most? Most definitely, Mike. I think so many people out there don’t really realize, I’ll go to players who are in small college basketball and division two and division three. They see the kids and even parents, and. just the general fans watched major college games on TV and they don’t realize how good the small college players are.
And, you know, guys think, well, my high school has more students than Wooster has. So therefore I can easily play there. I would be really good there. Yeah,
Mike Klinzing: absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s one of the biggest pieces of information that is missing in the education of [00:10:00] players and parents, and I think with the AAU culture and just, I think people.
Get told all the time, whether it’s parents, families, kids, they get told how good they are and what level they can play at and not necessarily by somebody who has their best interest at heart. And then they end up finding out when they go and they get an opportunity to see what division three basketball looks like or what NAI basketball looks like, or division two basketball looks like.
And they’re stunned by the level of play. And I think for anybody who hasn’t gone out and got an opportunity to see that, especially if you’re a middle school parent of a middle school player, get your kid out to see a division three game. If you’re a high school player, and those are, some of the schools are recruiting you, you want to go out and see those games and watch the high level of play that.
It’s prevalent everywhere, division three basketball, and I think it’s just something that we’ve, we’ve tried to do that. You’re on the podcast by talking to lots of different division three coaches, just to get the word out about the quality of, as you said, small college [00:11:00] basketball, how good those players really are.
I don’t, I don’t think people have any idea.
Steve Moore: Very true, Mike. And you know, people don’t realize there’s a, some of the guys that we get in, in, in our division, suite, level, maybe they aren’t going to be able to play division one major college basketball right away, but by the time they’re juniors, seniors, they’ve worked and improved.
we have guys that could play division one at that time. So, And that’s why we’ve had a lot of success at Wester, because we’ve got guys who improved and gotten that good. And so, but yeah, you’re right. People don’t realize it, but I think a lot of high school coaches do.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. And I think that’s probably something that’s improved, I would guess over the years.
Is that, have you found that high school coaches today or are more aware of the recruiting process maybe than they were, let’s say 25 30 years
Steve Moore: ago? Yes. I think that’s true, Mike. And just because I think recruiting has become such a big deal. I just a major college, but in, [00:12:00] in, in small cars, division three a lot, you know, a lot of people say, well, you don’t have scholarships.
How do you recruit? Well, you have to recruit harder. And when I first started coaching and individually three back when I was assistant coach at Wittenberg in the 70s. Not that many coaches worked real hard at it. I know I was coaching with Larry Hunter back then, but under coaching, how university, as you know.
did a great job, was an awesome coach, and I learned so much from him and we worked really hard at it. But, but nowadays, everybody’s working at every division three coach. It’s just filter down by the guys, you know, we’re in division one, or they got exposure to that recruiting. And when we go to the high school game and North Northeastern Ohio and the proven area African cam, we’re there but store about 10 other coaches right.
Yeah. So it’s very, very competitive. And, and so therefore, you know, the high school coaches you don’t [00:13:00] talked to by a lot of division three coaches. Any I coach, like you say, so they understand and they get, and, they’re really important to us in that gave the high school was.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I’m sure that for you haven’t been at Wooster for as long as you were, that just building those relationships with high school coaches and getting to the point where they trust you and you trust them to give you an honest evaluation of.
A player, whether or not that player can a play at your level, and then B, what kind of, what kind of kid they are. Let’s stay with that recruiting. I know we’re moving a little bit forward, but I think this is an interesting line of thinking for some of our audience. When you’re talking to a high school coach, how much of what you’re talking to them about is.
The character and sort of the intangibles of the player versus the actual basketball skill. Obviously there’s a certain skill level that they have to have, and I’m sure that by the time you get an opportunity to see them, you’ve already sort of made an evaluation [00:14:00] to some degree about their basketball skill, that at least they have some potential to be able to play your level.
So how much conversation goes up between you and their high school coach about those intangibles, those off the court things, those personality
Steve Moore: characteristics. Yeah. That’s really a very important point, Mike. You’re right. You know, we’ll see a guy play and so we know what his skill level is, but we would like to know how he does every day in practice.
How I would kind of a teammate is he, is he a team man? What are his work habits like. Day in and day out, because as you know, that’s, those are the guys that get better when, once they’re in college and the guys just great work habits and great attitudes. So, yeah, we, we asked the coaches those sayings, and you really, you know, you rely on a lot of the coaches that, you know, really well know guys that we’ve known over the years because, you know, they really know.
We, we, we know them and they know us and they know what we’re looking for. But, but [00:15:00] you know, you try to meet as many as you can, get to know them. but I’ve been very blessed at Worcester for so many years. Coach Doug Klein, who a lot of lessons, you know what I’m talking about now, assuming that you go to a job at the college he was through with my retirement coach.
Client has been with me. He graduated in 1995 was a great player for us, but, he’s been coaching with me ever since. And that’s unheard of to have that kind of continuity. And, and as, as, as he got over the years, he just got to know more and more coaches. And he built a tremendous relationship with the coach in Ohio.
And so he’s, he’s been a huge part of the huge reason and big part of our success in recruiting the relationships that he’s established with high school coaches.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I think those relationships have gotta be really, really important just to Ken, in terms of your ability to get honest information about the kids that you’re talking to, whether that’s players, I’m sure on their team, and I’m sure you go to a coach [00:16:00] sometimes who maybe plays against the player that you’re recruiting, just to try to get information about.
That play, or maybe it’s not even their own player on their team, but just somebody that they’ve played against or maybe somebody in their league. And I’m sure you go to those people for information as well. And I’m sure that with that, as you said with coach Klein and the continuity that you’re going to have there and him taking over, obviously he has big shoes to fill, but he certainly has had enough experience to understand what’s coming next.
So let’s move backwards though and go back to the time when you finished up your playing career. And was coaching something that was always on your radar sort of from the time you were a high school college player? Or was it a case where you got done playing and you looked around and said, well, I’ve got to figure out a way to stay involved in the game of basketball.
Which one of those paths more accurately described sort of your journey to coaching?
Steve Moore: Well, as a first year college student, I thought that maybe I would want [00:17:00] to be a teacher and a coach. I wasn’t sure. but, that was a possibility. And I started out majoring in math and, well I’m a math major.
I can maybe teach math or, or do lot of different things with math. But, after a while, a pretty good job in the first semester of calculus, I went along, got harder and harder. Okay. I ended up being a math minor. And a physical education major. And at that point I said, why I definitely want to be a coach.
So a physical education major was a good thing, but the minor was good too, because that way I could get certified to teach, in that area, which, you can get a job, could get jobs better in that area. But, we as my college career went along and I got influenced more and more by my high school coach, Bob Hamilton was the head coach at Rittenberg at that time.
I just, got very inspired to, go into coaching. [00:18:00] obviously, so many people that go into coaching do it for the love of the game. And that was a huge reason for me. I love the game of basketball. I wanted to stay involved with it. I knew I was not going to be a pro player, so I wouldn’t be playing after college.
So I thought, well, the best way to do it would be to go into coaching. So that was probably the first reason. And then the second reason, as I mentioned, my college coach, Bob Hamilton. It’s such a big influence on me. And I thought, well, maybe I can have that kind of same kind of influence or earth. Try to do it anyway on players that I would coach.
And so those two reasons are why I went into coaching. And, I wasn’t sure what level at first. the first shot I taught high school and taught that mathematics that I minored in at Springfield Catholic central. and, coached JV basketball. And, but I decided at that time, well, I really liked to try [00:19:00] college coaching.
So I went to Ohio university the next year and the second year out of, out of college. And I was very fortunate to be involved with the basketball program there at that time. how university didn’t have a graduate assistant in basketball and such. Well, I got to, I was able to get a teaching assistantship in physical education, because of Larry Hunter.
I mentioned already was this, became the assistant coach at Wittenberg my senior year when I was playing, and he was able to get me involved with the, Ohio university of Bobcat’s basketball. Del bandy was the head coach, and Larry had played at Ohio university. And so. I was able to somewhat volunteer and be the graduate assistant for, I got my masters in physical education.
So that was my second year out of college and it was a great experience. Mike Ryan was the assistant coach there and Dale Deobandi was the head coach and bill Brown, [00:20:00] who later on became a visionary in division one head coach and coach, Cal offensive annual’s assistant coach and those guys. It was great.
Great situation for me. I’ve learned a lot of basketball there. And, I was very fortunate to get my master’s at Ohio university. All right.
Mike Klinzing: Two questions. One, what do you remember from that first JV year, and then I want to ask you a question about what some of the things were that you did when you were a graduate assistant.
But let’s first go with, what was it like when you first stepped in front of your first JV team? What was that experience like? What do you remember from that very first year?
Steve Moore: You remember that going, going into the job? I thought that I knew everything.
Mike Klinzing: I know that if I know that feeling, I felt the exact same way.
My first job.
Steve Moore: Yeah. Yeah. I played in college and I thought, well, I know, I know how to coach. Well, I found out right away. I didn’t, you know, we had some nice young man and, [00:21:00] we worked hard and, and you know, they, they, they were good skill players, but, I wasn’t a very good coach. And, we went against some teams.
I had some good players and good coaches and I learned a lot. I learned, I learned that I, number one, I learned that I didn’t know very much about coaching. And, so that was a great educational experience, but it was a great school to be at. some fine people. Russ counter was the head coach there and my column was assistant coach.
Mike, today’s still a good friend of mine, but, it was a good year. I was around good people, great people. And, But I realized that, I really didn’t want to teach mathematics. for 30 years. I had taught five or six sections of algebra one in a day. And, at the end of the day, I thought my head was spinning and I thought, man, cause I say that in this class or did I say right?
You know? [00:22:00] And so I thought, well. I, I admire teachers who teach her 30 years, if he’s high school, junior high, elementary. But I just wasn’t able to do it. I didn’t think for all those years. So I decided, well, I’m going to go back and get my master’s and see if I can get into college coaching. So I was very fortunate to land at Ohio U and, and then, I know you want to probably ask me about that year and how you, but,
Mike Klinzing: What, what were, what were some of the things you did during that? What was, what was your role? do you remember what some of the, some of the assignments, some of the tasks that you had during that year?
Steve Moore: What was really interesting? There was a good story. okay. great. They had a JV team of water at that time and,
And I think part of the reason was to seat, well, maybe they could pick up a couple of guys that were eventually be varsity players for them, but a lot of it too was bill Brown, who’s a [00:23:00] great player for how you there. he was my age, so he was like his second year out of college. And I think coach Vandy wanted him to get some coaching experience.
I don’t know if you talked to coach Brian, if he would say if this true or not, but that was my memory. And, and so he was a JV coach and I helped him out. I came as volunteer kind and I said, well, you, you can help bill hours with the JV guys. And so first game of the JV season, we played Marietta college who had a bunch of recruited players, you know.
They, their freshmen, were recruited good high school players. Whereas, you know, a lot of the old, you guys were walk ons and good players in their own right. But, you know, we didn’t really realize that Marietta would be. Yeah, that good of JV players. they, they checked their butts and, and, Hey, we gotta get some players.
Bill, you’re going on the road, Steve, you [00:24:00] take over the JV team. And so I coached the JV team and, and it was a good experience. You know, it’s a nice young man and, I think one or two a minute up, actually, not, I don’t if they got scholarships, but they stayed with the varsity none for, for the rest of their career.
So. that was a good experience there. And just being on the bench with coach Manny and coach Ryan and coach vow and just being around the, the, the program was a great learning experience. And, I really, I really am fortunate that I was able to be with those guys. And
Mike Klinzing: so from there, you get an opportunity to go back to Wittenberg, correct?
Steve Moore: Yes. that’s right, Mike. at the end of that year. Bob Hamilton, my, my college coach, got the Navy job, United States Naval Academy head coach, and very Hunter who was, had been the assistant coach I think for both, for my, my senior year. And then, [00:25:00] two more years after that, the two years I was out, he was the assistant coach to Bob Hamilton.
And when Bob got the job at Navy there, he became the head coach. And then Larry. gave me my chance to get in, in the college coaching and brought me back to Wittenberg as his full time assistant. And so that’s, that’s how I got back there as assistant coach. And, and then I coached with Larry, I think for five years.
it was with him. And, over five grade years we had some outstanding players. And, we actually, we won the national championship in the first year back when Larry took over his first year as head coach. When the division three national championship and the year before when Bob was head coach, they went to the national championship game and lost a Scranton, in the S in the national championship game.
And a lot of those same players then returned. And Larry took over and won the national [00:26:00] title in 1977. So it was a great experience. And then we had some other. Good teams. And, before I left to become a head coach in Pennsylvania, cause that was a great experience. I learned a lot from Larry about coaching course enforcing.
Larry passed away just a couple of years ago when he’s coaching at Western Carolina, but there was just a tremendous, tremendous coach and, it’s, it meant the world to me and, I’ll forever be indebted. Thankful to him for giving me the opportunity to coach with him. What do
Mike Klinzing: you remember about that time in terms of what you learned about being a good assistant?
And then we’ll talk after we talk about that, we can talk a little bit about what the transition was like to go from being a college assistant to being a college head coach. But talk a little bit about what you’ve learned from coach Hunter about being a good assistant coach or what it took to be a good assistant coach.
Steve Moore: Well, of course she was just a great teacher and, and, and, you know, [00:27:00] spent a lot of time talking with me about. Oh, how to coach the game. And, of course I had been around him when he was assistant and coach Hamilton when he was a, head coach. So I was coached by two outstanding men there. So I learned a lot about fundamentals of the game.
And, so of course, just being rounded in it as when he was a head coach and how he worked with the players and communicated with them. I learned a lot about that for sure. But, I just learned that I needed to be loyal and work hard. Those are the main things that I think an assistant coach needs to do.
be a good teacher, but be loyal and work hard.
Mike Klinzing: All right. In your mind, I think loyal is a word that almost universally, if you talk to somebody who has been either a head coach or an assistant, that’s almost always a characteristic that is talked about. So just in your mind, and you can approach this either from.
The assistant’s point of view, or from the [00:28:00] head coach point of view, what does loyalty, what does loyalty look like when you’re talking about an assistant
Steve Moore: coach? Well, number one, you gotta, past the head coach shop, in every single way. You may not agree with everything, but, once, once the decision’s been made, you have to, you have to go along with what the coaches decided.
And, and it was easy in my case with Larry Hunter because I love him so much, and that, you know, whatever he said I was going to sell, so I never had to go against, anything that he ever said. and, and I’ve been fortunate with coach Klein, you know, he loves Wooster and, and, loved our program.
So we had loyalty there. So, you know, you just, you just have to put the, put the program ahead of anything else. And, [00:29:00] that’s, that’s number one. I think, the what, what the, what the team’s going to accomplish, it’d be your number one objective and everything else. And that’s, that goes for players to being unselfish and putting the team ahead of the individual.
desires and wants is, that’s more important than anything in a team sport. And basketball is the ultimate team sport. Mike, as you, I know you’ll agree with me on that.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah, absolutely. I think you basketball because everybody. Everybody can do it, can quote, do everything you don’t have. Even though we have positions in basketball, it’s not like a, the difference between an offensive tackle and a wide receiver in football or the difference between a pitcher and a center field or baseball in basketball.
You definitely have to be able to, I think as a coach, communicate players roles to them and then get those players to buy into the role so that. That five man unit can have success. And if you can’t get your team to buy into their roles [00:30:00] and get everybody working together on the same page, as I’m sure you know, well, things can go.
Things can go South very, very fast if people have their own personal agendas as opposed to, as you said, making sure that what their number one goal is is to help the team be successful. And that’s, I think, somebody who’s had success as a coach. I think if you could point to anything, that’s probably what.
Most coaches would attributed to is your ability to get players to buy into the team concept and coaches that do that tend to have a tremendous amount of success. Oh boy.
Steve Moore: That’s a, sure. Mike. you know, every player has to sacrifice something one way or another. It’s different for each player, player to player.
You know, some guys have to sacrifice and not be a starter. They worked all summer long and they wanted to be a star, but. It’s for the best, the team that they’re not a starter. Some guys get to start, but they might not get to shoot as much as they’d like to or score as many points as they’d like to. So they have to sacrifice.
[00:31:00] And even the top score, he has to sacrifice some things one way or another. maybe, maybe if he was on another team, it would average 20, but because we’re going to be Timor and he’s, he should, he’s gonna only average 15 or 14 maybe, and not maybe get some of the. Individual honors, but the team’s success comes first.
So everybody has sacrificed something and that that’s really true in life. And that’s how businesses can be successful if everybody puts a team first.
Mike Klinzing: What’s the, and I think this is probably too short of an answer that we’ll have to dive into, but what’s the secret to getting players to buy in and understand.
Their role. How do you go about making sure that kids a, understand what their role is, and then B, how do you get them to accept that role when, as you said, everybody is sacrificing something. How do you get them to want to [00:32:00] sacrifice for the team? What are some things that you’ve had success with over the years in terms of doing that?
Is it mostly come down and just communication.
Steve Moore: Well, yeah, I think communication is huge. Mike. let’s be honest. So a lot of it is, comes down to who you have in your program. in college course we can recruit guys, in high school, the high school coaches, you know, they have to take, he comes up and he’s good enough to play for them.
but you, you work on that in recruiting. You want unselfish players. so that, that, that’s a part of it. but. Once, once you get them in the program. communication. You know, you have to say, emphasize what’s important. But here’s another big point. The older guys who have been through it must set the example.
You must have that to have quality programs year after year after year. If you want quality teams, you have to have guys who have been through it, who have learned how to [00:33:00] sacrifice. We’ve learned how to put the team first and they pass it down. And just show the example and then those younger guys and they pass it down to the guys.
You do owe them. And I think that’s a big part of our success. Over the years it was there, you had guys taught the younger guys not only how to play in terms of fundamentals and teach them the game, but they, they sh they teach them what’s important and what will help us win. And that’s, and that’s being team first.
So I think, having good leadership and that, that, that needs to be developed over the years, but it’s got to start with having good people and then, and then they learn how to do that.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I think there’s two things that stood out for me about what you just said. One is the fact that if you have the right people and the right kind of people who you want to be part of your program.
It makes it, I’m guessing, a lot easier to be able to get everybody going [00:34:00] in the same direction if you have the wrong people on your bus, so to speak. I’m guessing that it’s a lot more difficult to get that bus to go where you want it to go. So I think the right people is definitely an important part of it.
And then the second thing that I think you said was that you spent time, and I’m guessing you probably spent more time on this. Early in your time at Wooster was building, building that leadership, teaching kids what it meant, what it means to be a leader when you’re an upperclassmen, and how you go about passing on the values and standards of your program.
To the younger kids, and then I’m guessing that that momentum sort of builds and builds and builds upon itself, and you got better at it as time went on and the kids got better at it simply because you had done it year after year after year after
Steve Moore: year. That’s exactly right, Mike. People often ask me, you know, how have you had success year after year?
It was, sir. Yeah, I [00:35:00] answered, well, number one, you have, we have lot of talent. We’ve got talented players, that’s for sure. It’s a great institution. It’s a quality place. We have great facilities. We can attract really talented guys, but it’s also talented guys that work hard and, quality people. And, and I was very fortunate when I first arrived that we had a couple of guys, even though the program had been down a little bit.
That there were some quality men in the program and, excellent leaders and set the example. And then we brought in a very good class first year, which as you remember, that was the year my first recruiting class was you, your senior year. And you might remember a guy named Eric Riebe.
Mike Klinzing: Absolutely
Steve Moore: was a great friend of it.
Mark Alberts and Mark and Eric were seniors there in Wayne County and a Mark at Wister high. And Eric at Wayne Dale. And, we were able to get Eric to attend [00:36:00] Worcester. and that was our first recruit. In fact, my first day on the job, Al van was the legendary coach and athletic director who was athletic director at that time.
And he said, your first thing you do on your first day job is you call Eric freebie. Good. And we were lucky to get him. And, And he was a, a talent, but he also was a dedicated basketball player. And, that was a big key to establishing success at Worcester was having guys like that early on. Another guy of his, a couple of teammates, Mark Stanley from Norway, and also Wayne County guy and Tim Saba.
And those guys pass it on. Well, Matt Houston was a sophomore when I was, when I came in to the worser and he was there cause the baseball primarily. But he was a great baseball player, drafted by the Indians and then also played base basketball and was a great leader. So we [00:37:00] had these quality people who pass it on, like you said.
And then it just kinda snowballed and then I just kinda sat back and let the players recruit each other guys, new guys each year and coach fine. You did a great job and, I got a lot of credit when other people did a tremendous job.
Mike Klinzing: There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think that it’s interesting just to hear you talk about just the process of getting the whole thing started.
And I think it still comes back to what you said a couple of minutes ago, is you get the right people in place and everything. Gets easier. Things that you want to do, things that are important to you, a ways you want to go about instilling the standards and culture of your program all become easier when you have good people that are a part of what you’re doing.
And that goes from your coaching staff to your players. And obviously I remember Eric very well cause just like we talked about before, we jumped down here, you know, planting, it’s Mark Alberts [00:38:00] in the summer time and played against Eric in the summertime as well. And. Just both of those guys, tremendous players.
And Mark ended up in Akron and Eric ended up at Wooster and I ended up at Kent. And so we were all kind of, you know, again, similar, I would say similar type of players. I’m not the most super athletic guys. If you start thinking about what a typical division one player might look like, but all of us, smart players, all of us players that could had a high basketball IQ, and I think ultimately good people.
And when you. Get those kinds of people in your program. I think that’s what leads you to the kind of success that you want to have. Let’s think back to when you got your first opportunity to transition from an assistant coach and you get your first head coaching job at Muellenberg college. Talk a little bit about what that transition was like for you to go from an assistant to a head coach.
Steve Moore: Well. Yes. And I left Wittenberg to go out of state, to Muhlenberg college in Allentown, Pennsylvania, [00:39:00] which, clear across, Pennsylvania almost to New Jersey. and how it was an Ohio kid and hadn’t been out of state that much myself. But, I had not even heard of me remember in college when they called me.
but I was fortunate to get that job. And when I got there, I realized, man, this is a great place. Very nice college, great academics. Very similar with sir. And the program had been down. so we had to turn it around. And, it’s, the first thing was recruiting. And here I was in an area where, you know, I didn’t know any coaches.
it was Eastern Pennsylvania. And we had a lot of students who were from New Jersey, which is right across the state line. And so we had to recruit guys to most areas. And so number one, we just tried to get to know as many coaches as we could, see as many players as we could, and just tried to recruit numbers.
And we got a lot of guys that come in [00:40:00] and, That was a big thing because we really weren’t sure who would be good players and who would not decide, well, let’s just bring a lot of guys in. And fortunately we, we had about four guys ended up being really good players for us, quality man and quality players out of that big group.
And we were able to turn it around. and the first year we did not reach 500, but we won double the number of games that they won the first year. And in the second year we had a winning record. And then we had some very successful years, but, the, the transition was, yeah, you know, a lot of people talk about that.
You know, you, you move over 18 inches on this, on the bench. But it’s a big jump, much, not just inches. It’s a, you know, you make the decisions instead of making a suggestion. but, I just relied on, on what I learned from Bob Hamilton, Larry Hunter. I just relied [00:41:00] on teaching the fundamentals of the game and being passionate and intense and, I think those things would work.
Well, what helped us have success, even though I made a lot of mistakes and I really didn’t, I was learning with the players, but just to emphasize the fundamentals, working hard, being passionate, intense, and those things are taking a long way, I think.
Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. What was the biggest thing that if you look back on that first experience, something that if you had it to do differently or if you would have set something up.
In a different way. What’s something that you might’ve changed in that first iteration? Something that you’ve learned over the course of your head coaching career, that when you look back at that first experience to say, Ooh, I wish I would have done this earlier. We might’ve gotten to a different point sooner.
Steve Moore: Yeah. I probably can player evaluation. I probably, first part of the year I probably played some guys, that, [00:42:00] Later on in the year didn’t play. And, part of that was there were a couple of seniors who, came around, played a couple of younger guys early, but these senior guys, you know, they had been in a situation, it was a losing program, but they really responded well to the coaching and, they ended up being much better than the guys that we played early on in the season.
And, I guess part of that was, I should have realized that, but part of it was too, they really bought into the situation and one guy who was really out of shape, just lost a lot of weight, were tar got in shape and another guy, it was just a change the attitude and worked really, really hard. And, those two guys ended up being our guards and did a good job for us.
So I guess to answer your question, recognizing maybe right away, you know, who was gonna. Be the guys to get it done. and [00:43:00] that’s a big part of coaching is, you know, evaluating your talent and recognizing, and then when I was a young guy like that, I, I made some mistakes. I, I have to say,
Mike Klinzing: I think that’s something that sometimes people from the outside, maybe you haven’t been involved in coaching, don’t always understand that, that evaluation piece.
And I think that if you think about just, you think about parents who are clearly. Biased towards their own kids in most cases. But then you just think about the general fan and we know that there’s any given game that you go to. There’s 500 1,002 thousand 3000 other coaches that are sitting up in the stands, second guessing what you’re doing and thinking about an offering, their, their opinion about what it is that you’re doing out on the floor.
And I think that, you know, it ultimately it comes down to, as a coach, when you’re talking about evaluating your talent, trying to put your best team. On the floor. You know, there are times where, again, do coaches make mistakes? Sure. They do. And I think probably as you’ve [00:44:00] stated though, the less experience you have, I’m sure the more difficult that is.
And I’m sure that as it goes along, you start to find and recognize a, the characteristics that you look for in a player. And B, you just get better at finding and identifying the guys who are going to help you to win with the style of play that you want to play.
Steve Moore: That’s right. Michael. I think as time went along, I learned that, you know, you motivate guys in different ways.
Some guys, you can really get intense with some guys. You can’t be as intense. And, I think that was another thing I learned as time went along. you have to realize that the player and how to motivate him and what he reacts to, what he’ll respond to. I think that that’s something that the coaches get better at as time goes along.
Mike Klinzing: How long when a kid first comes into the program, how long does it take you to get to know that kid? And I’m sure it varies, obviously person to person, but just in general, how long does it take you as a coach to [00:45:00] be able to get an understanding of how that kid best can be coached and what they react to best in terms of your style of interacting with them, your way of coaching them?
How long does that process typically take. Well, as
Steve Moore: you say, it can be different with different guys, but, some guys you find out way, other guys fool you a little bit, and so it takes a little while. Maybe you get into the season into play some games before you know for sure. But, it’s, it’s a, it’s a process, Mike, and, you know, coach finds great at that.
And, I relied on him heavily over the years and, you know, how to, how to, how different guys would, would receive coaching. And, and he’s, he’s been good at that ever since. He’s a young coach, so, you know, he’s going to continue to do a great job there. There’s no doubt about it.
Mike Klinzing: All right. So let’s talk about how the opportunity comes for you to leave Muellenberg and go [00:46:00] to Wooster.
It sounds like the situation at Muellenberg was a pretty good one. So what prompted your decision to go and leave and go to Wooster?
Steve Moore: Well, Mike, it was a very good situation. You know, we had one, a couple of titles in our division. I’m in the middle of any conference. And, and it was a great school. It really was top notch academics and, we had some nice young men there that played hard for us.
And, but it was all about family. my wife is from the same hometown, Monroeville. at that time when we left me, when Berg, we had, we have two daughters. They were six and four years old. And at that time, all their grandparents were alive and, their cousins were there in Monroeville. and so we wanted to be closer to family and Wester was an hour away from the hometown.
And when that opportunity came to apply, [00:47:00] that was almost a perfect situation. And so while it was very tough to leave Neuenburg Some of those players are still very close to me. And, I love those guys and it was tough to leave, but, it was all about family and, it worked out great because, my daughter’s grandparents were still alive for several years after we moved and they were able to grow up and be around them.
And, you know, it was a great, great vocation. Not to mention, it turned out to be a great place to coach at also.
Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. All right. Before we dive into the program, I want to ask you, I think this is a good point to ask this question. How did you, as a head college coach, how did you balance the needs of your family with the needs of the basketball program?
Because I think that’s something that coaches at all levels, you talk to them and almost universally, I think there’s that struggle. There’s that push and pull of my family needs me at home, my players, my program [00:48:00] needs me at school. How did you go about. Balancing or trying to keep both sides of that equation happy, so to speak.
Steve Moore: Well, I had a tremendous, tremendous wife who was, who was a tremendous mother. And, my wife Jane, did a great job with the daughters. And, and it was tough though, you know, to go recruiting, on a Tuesday night and a Friday night when, you know, they’d want you to stay home. And. Watch a movie with them and popcorn and, but you know, you had to get to those games because if you didn’t, you know, you weren’t going to get the recruits.
I remember my daughter Beth holding on in my legs, ain’t daddy, don’t leave. Don’t go to recruit. I want you to stay home. It was so hard. But, you know, you just try, whenever you are home, you want it to be the best quality time you can make it. And, You know, you take them to the gym when you can too.
And they, they run around during [00:49:00] practice. And, the, the game, the program, the team became a huge part of their lives. My two daughters, Beth and Emily. and, I don’t know if they would trade being coach’s daughter and being involved in the program all those years. In fact, they still are just, you know, even to the last game, just were there and, and love the program, the players, a team.
And, It just, you just make the, your family part of the team and part of the program and it works. And, I remember going to a. You know, when they were young and they played in the elementary school basketball games, and I would go, even if we played a Saturday afternoon game at home, I would go and watch him play at nine in the morning.
And maybe, you know, maybe in those days you didn’t do as much preparation because of it and the last minute preparation, but you wanted to be at those games. And so I went to them and made it a priority.
Mike Klinzing: I think [00:50:00] being intentional about it is one of the things that. Comes through there. And it’s one of the things that I think a lot of coaches have mentioned that it’s really easy to lose sight of what’s really important and get caught up in your season.
And we all know how important our season becomes to us as coaches when we’re in the midst of it. And I think it’s important to be able to step back and be able to see that there is that bigger picture. And you do have a wife and daughters or family at home. That be you as well or I think, I think striking that balance is always something that coaches find challenging.
Fun, challenging in the past, and I think it’s going to continue to be a challenge in the coaching profession as we move forward. And it’s always good to hear stories of guys like yourself who were able to balance that out and be able to be both a great coach and have the tremendous success that you were able to have.
And then also be able to have. Those family relationships stay intact. And you know, unfortunately we hear about somebody coaches [00:51:00] who get divorced and just don’t have those quality family relationships that you were able to maintain throughout your entire career. And I think that that’s something to be held up, as an example of that.
It can be done and you just have to work really, really hard at it. And as you said, you’ve got to have. A supportive spouse at home in order to make that happen. For sure. And I think most coaches who, stay married during the course of their coaching career would agree with you on that 100% that you gotta have somebody at home who’s 100% in your corner
Steve Moore: or that’s sure.
Extremely important, no doubt about it. All right,
Mike Klinzing: let’s go. Let’s think about back when you first got there, and obviously Wooster had a tremendous tradition before you got there. But in your first year when you first set foot on campus, do you remember back at that time, what were some of the things that you thought you had to do personally in order to be able to continue and build on the success that was already
Steve Moore: Okay. I think [00:52:00] it was a number one to establish discipline. the tradition had been there. Alvin wee was a coach for many years, most whole before him. A great program, but it slipped for a little bit for four years there. I think after hours, I’m out of coaching and you’re before, a couple of years before I came, they had losing records and I think they lack some discipline.
And so, you know, we came in and tried to establish that right away by making sure everybody’s on time. you know, we’re very strict about that. we establish some workouts in the morning just to make sure that, find out who, you know, who really wanted it, who would really pay the pie, should be in sacrifice and come in early in the morning, do the workouts.
and so things like that. And just, making sure guys are on time, making sure I practice that guys stayed on [00:53:00] task. and listened and, and, played, played team basketball. the Savage discipline in terms of teamwork and, and, togetherness. I think those intangibles more than, I mean, teaching the game was important too, but those, intangibles, in terms of discipline and, and, doing things right the right way on time.
had to be established that those things had slipped up, I think. But then, I think to teaching the game, going back to a very fundamental approach, I think, that was a key thing right off the bat was, you know, teaching the guys talk, working on passing, working on. How to throw a correct bounce pass, how to jump, stop, how to pivot.
yes, I think some of those things that slipped in that program for, we came there. [00:54:00] And, so we will be getting very fundamentally sound, very fundamentally oriented, I should say, and tried to be fundamentally sound work on the fundamentals of, of, often the Moseley game. And, instead of just, you know, trying to get a lot of stuff in team-wise.
We really try to be fundamentally oriented. I think that was a big key. Bye. So if you’re
Mike Klinzing: developing, and you think about, and this may have changed over the course of the time, obviously, that you were there, but when you think about putting together a practice plan, how much of the time would you say was focused on what somebody from the outside might call individual skill development fundamentals versus how much was focused on.
Putting in team stuff off offensive and defensive team stuff and out of balance plays and that kind of thing. How would you characterize the split and time between individual skill development and the development of your team?
Steve Moore: Well, like I say, early on your first year, we were really that way and I don’t think we [00:55:00] changed that whole lot that way over the years.
even less in the last year coaching, we would be very fundamental, in our teaching at the beginning of the year. And I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we, our teams would always play late, well later in the year, because we work on fun fundamental things early, maybe not get team thing done as much.
then by working on those fundamental things throughout the year, I think we would. Play better at the end of the year when, when the tournament time came. And so that was, that’s been our approach and maintain that approach. But in terms of time, I think, you know, you got to work on a team things for sure.
But, we, we, we spend time with, basically the game early on in practice, working with individuals, working on individual skills throughout, throughout the year. [00:56:00] and, So I’d say that you’ve tried to balance it up, individual work, teamwork, balance your defense and your offense to, you know, we received a lot of notoriety over the years for people said we’ve been successful, cause a good defense.
And that’s been a part of it. But we emphasize on offense. This is watch and coach finds a great offensive coach. In fact, the last many years, he was the offensive coach and we kinda had like football. He’s the offensive coordinator, defense coordinator and coach finds been in charge of the offense. So, but I think you have to work hard at both ends of the court to be a championship team.
Mike Klinzing: the beginning of your career, did you not have those roles as clearly defined for your assistance at the beginning as you did at
Steve Moore: the end? That’s correct, yeah. Mike Warren was, was our, full time assistant in the early years. And as Mike, coach with me, I just came more and more calmness in him and he was [00:57:00] outstanding coach and went out of your head, coach you on a college.
And I was very fortunate to have him because he was also an excellent recruiter. So he was the full time assistant until he left to go to another college. And that’s when coach fine took over. But, and just having coach fine with me for so many years. From 1995 until the present. you know, that’s a long time.
So he just kept getting better and better as a coach and, it just evolves. He’s really good at watching the pros and the, and the major colleges. And getting new ideas for offense and, adjusting our offense to the personnel. He’s been great at that. And, for example, in the, right around 2005, 2006.
W we stopped having a lot of big post players that we could go inside with the ball. And so we had fast post, shorter, faster players on the posts areas. And our guards were fast and [00:58:00] good shooters. So we played much more uptempo and coastline was the reason for that. He did a great job, recognizing that and, and, and so we changed our PR based on our personnel.
And I think that’s an important thing in coaching.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. That’s something that I think that is somewhat underrated when it comes to having law, especially longterm coaching success. Because I think so often, and as coaches, we all have things that we. Like to do, whether that’s things we’d like to do authentically, things we’d like to do defensively and just either we’d like to teach them or we think that those are the most successful ways that we could play or that maybe as players we’d like to play that way.
But I think the best coaches are able to, as you said. Take a look at your personnel and say, Oh, you know, we used to be able to get these big burly guys inside and we could, we could dump the ball in the post and now we have quicker, faster guys. So we need to get up and out of the four more and open up our office.
And I think the best coaches take a look at what their [00:59:00] personnel can do and then make adjustment as it sounded like. That’s what you guys have been able to do over the years. And I’m sure that’s what’s helped you to have the success that you had.
Steve Moore: I think you have good jobs and you know, in, in, in college.
One might say, well, you can recruit the guys you need, and if you want to play a certain way, you can recruit this position, that position, but not having athletic scholarships. It’s not as easy to get exactly who you want and, you know, make your team up that way. Plus to Mike, we all know the game has changed so much here in recent years.
You don’t see guys that want to play in the post nearly as much. everybody wants to be a guard. Even your big guys and our level, that’s six, six and six, seven, they see Kevin Durant’s seven footer, these tall guys playing outside shooting threes. And that’s what these younger guys want to do. and so, you [01:00:00] know, you, you have to adjust to the, to the way the game’s changing.
It’s become more guard oriented. And, kids grow up learning how to play with, you know, with the dribble and come up boss means, and so that’s filtered down in the college game is become Oscar in Boston and Boston as opposed to, you know, more of a movement offense off the ball. And so you gotta adjust to that.
And, and once again, coach Fein has been awesome with that. I would not have been, doing that. Doing as well as him with if I was in charge of the offense. He’s been great and that’s why he’s going to continue to have a great program. Yeah,
Mike Klinzing: it really is amazing how much the game has changed. I think there’s, there’s three things that I find to be super interesting when I think back to my time, my time as a player, and then I think about early years of coaching and those three things are one, I still don’t think I’ll ever be able to.
Wrap my head around [01:01:00] teams coming down in a three on one and shooting a three. I’ll never be able to quit other, be able to quite wrap my head around that one. So that’s it. That’s one. Number two, I think I played my entire basketball career without ever driving underneath the basket and kicking the ball all the way back out outside the three point line up by the top of the key, maybe to the baseline, but never back out to the top of the key.
And then I think about. The number of balls screens that I was involved in, whether defensively or offensively, and I’m sure that the number that I was involved in probably in my entire college career was the same as what a lot of your kids probably are seeing in one or two games at this point in, you know, in, in basketball.
It’s just, it’s just amazing how different the game has been. it has changed into, from what it was like 20 or 30 years ago.
Steve Moore: Boy, you’re right, Mike, the [01:02:00] offensive approach to offense, you know, or in the early years where you get those three good three point shots was to throw it inside and then kick it back out.
Now I see drive the ball and if they collapse, kick it out. So yeah, you’re right. That’s, that’s a huge change. And, that’s where players like to do and that’s what players are good at. And the three point shot of course, has changed the game a lot. now this year, you know, the, the art moved back, but not for division two and three, so that’ll be an adjustment for our guys.
I’d be interested to see how the stats came out with this year. you know, did the percentages go down in division one with that greater distance for the three point shot? but now, that, that, that was delayed a year for small colleges because the administrators, I think, thought that. You know, small colleges might not be able to repaint their floor, in two years.
[01:03:00] So now all college basketball will be the longer arc, the international distance, the 22 foot plus, as opposed to 20 foot nine inches. So that some people might not realize that in division two and three, we played with the 20 foot nine this year, and we’ll make the change for next year.
Mike Klinzing: Yeah. You’d have to think that at least initially in the first year or two until teams players get adjusted to that, you would have to think there would be, you know, the percentage doesn’t have to go lower at least for a year or two until people kind of catch up.
And then just, there’s so much, there’s so much good shooting in the game today. again, again, compared to you, you compare it to 20 years ago where you might’ve had two or three guys who could shoot it from out there with a kind of consistent basis. And now you just have so many more kids that can stand outside that line and, and knock shots down compared to what it was like, in the past.
For sure. I
Steve Moore: agree. And players will adjust. you know, and right now we have some guys with the range that should, you know, [01:04:00] further out, but some guys will have to work in and improve their range. But it isn’t an amazing, though that at the NBA 23, nine. How those guys make go shots at that distance.
Mike Klinzing: It’s incredible. The shooting is, the shooting today is just, it’s, it’s, it’s unbelievable, honestly, at all, at all levels. When you look at, I think just from a sheer, like I said, the, to me it’s more about the, yeah, there are some guys who are just unbelievable and clearly at the NBA level, there’s guys that are fantastic and even in the college level, but what I’m amazed by is the.
Depth of guys of players who can, who can shoot the ball, who are more skilled. And I think this is a conversation I, I’d like to get your opinion on it. We’ve talked to some other coaches, and I think that if you look back again, let’s, let’s say 15 or 20 years ago, I think that kids today, especially if you look at like a high school roster of basketball players, I would say players nine 10 1112 are far more skilled.
[01:05:00] Then the players 20 years ago now, I don’t know if they’re better basketball players if they have a higher basketball IQ, but I know for sure that player 12 on a high school team today can do more things with the ball, can shoot the ball better than the 12th man 15 years ago. Would you agree with that?
Steve Moore: That’s probably right, Mike. Yeah, I think so. And that comes from a guy who was a great shooter in your own right. Right. And that was, you were a very good shooter.
Mike Klinzing: Was back a long time ago, but yeah, I could shoot a little bit. I guess
Steve Moore: that was a strength.
Mike Klinzing: Mike does not like to talk. Mike does not like to talk about how he can shoot the basketball.
He does not like to talk about it. I, I still see him shoot the ball. Well,
Steve Moore: by the way, I’ve
Mike Klinzing: seen him shoot the ball. Well, he wanted a minute,
Steve Moore: but he does want to shoot Roy just shooter. Yeah. I
Mike Klinzing: think there’s something to be said for that. Although. To be honest, I, I probably, I wish I could still be the guy that could get up 300 shots in a day.
I should probably be out of my driveway now while we’re all quarantine, just getting shots up all the [01:06:00] time. I probably should spend a lot more time out there. So, but yeah, shooting is just a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s obviously a skill that is always going to be valuable no matter what. And I think in today’s game with the rules the way they are, it’s more valuable at this point than it’s ever been.
Steve Moore: Yup. Yeah. And, like you say more guys, shoot it. For example, 20 years ago you only had, you had two posts up guys before the four spot, the power forward, that guy was around the basket. Now he’s a shooter, right? Because stretch for. And now everybody wants to be a stretch. Five or five man wants to shoot the ball, the center.
So, and that’s makes it, it makes it hard to guard when you have that many guys that can shoot the three. so that, that’s where basketball’s going. Absolutely.
Mike Klinzing: There’s no question about that. I don’t want to ask you, obviously you were at Wooster for a long, long time. With a tremendous amount of success.
I’m sure at some point along the road that [01:07:00] some other schools came calling maybe some at a higher level. Just to explain the thought process of staying at Wooster for as long as you did. What was special about Wooster? What did you love about the place? What made you want to stay there for the duration of your 30 some years?
Steve Moore: I guess number one, the quality of the young men that I coach, Really good players, good enough to win for us. We’re also quality people and, it’s pretty good situation to be in. And, you know, I guess I wanted to coach in major college when I was young coach, I would have needed to go be an assistant.
Now some guys go from division three head coach to division one, but that doesn’t happen very often. If you want to be in division one, you need to, you know, start out in division one as an assistant. I think. that just, I just decided that I would rather be in small college. That suited me better. I was better suited [01:08:00] for that.
and it just worked out to stay at with, it was a great situation, really great community, place for my and my daughters to grow up. And, and we had great support to Mike. I think, you know, you probably know that, you know, our attendance at the games. I was standing for small college. we’ve been in the top five, in division three and nationally and in attendance for years and years.
so we get great support. Our fans love our team, and that’s fun situation to be in.
Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. It’s fun to be able to play in a gym that’s full of fans now where there’s a lot of excitement and being able to coach or play in that environment, there’s nothing better in the game of basketball and being able to play and coach in front of a packed house.
Night after night, and then obviously with the success that you were able to have, that leads more and more people to want to be supportive of your program and come out and watch you play. I want you, I want to ask one final question here, Steve, before we wrap up. And that is if you look back on the totality of your career [01:09:00] and a young coach came to you looking for advice.
So at 2223 year old coach comes to you and says, coach, I want to be able to have a long, successful career. And the coaching profession. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at the college level of the high school level, but if you had one or two pieces of advice for a young coach, what would you say to that young person who came and asked you for advice?
Steve Moore: Well, I think I would tell them to, work at establishing good relationships. Sure. You want to win basketball games, and we’ve been fortunate to win games and championships, but establish relationships. with your players, with your other staff members, because that really is in the long run most important thing.
And, winning games was fun, that’s for sure. But the long lasting things that for me are the relationships that I have and will continue to have with our, with our players. they’re lifelong friends. they mean so much to you. [01:10:00] so. Establish those relationships by really getting to know your guys and, and really work hard at, trying to make an impression and, and, the influence on them, I would say off the court as well as on the court.
pay attention to their academics, pay attention to their lives in general, and really try to influence them as people as well as, as players.
Mike Klinzing: Man. I think that’s a great piece of advice, Steve. I think if every coach at every level who gets involved in the coaching profession, and again, that goes across all sports, not just basketball, but when you think about having an impact on the kids that you are in contact with, both as players of their sport, but then more importantly, having that influence on them as people.
So you end up producing not just good basketball players, but you end up producing. Good citizens. To me, that’s really what coaching is all [01:11:00] about. And obviously the more success you have, one loss, the more of an opportunity that gives you to be able to have a greater impact on the kids that become part of your program.
And so, as I said, when we started right off the top, Steve, I am honored that you would take the time out of your schedule to come out and, and talk to us here on the hoop beds podcast. Before we finish up, I want to give you a chance to. Share how people can find out more about you or more about the Wooster basketball program.
And then if there’s anything else that we didn’t touch on tonight, any final words of wisdom you want to leave us with, you can do that and then I’ll jump back on and wrap up the episode.
Steve Moore: Okay. Well, you know, what’s your basketball will continue to go on. As I mentioned several times, coach Joe Klein’s in charge now.
You know, the program’s going to be successful with him as a head coach and, great job and great institution because [01:12:00] thinking about the college was sir is an excellence in both areas. We’ve got a good basketball program, but I’ll tell you what, the academics are outstanding and we have great professors who.
Are very concerned about their students. And, it’s a, it’s a great education as well as getting a chance to play on a winning program. So I’ll sell coach client, cause he, you know, he, he promoted our program for years and, and told players. I to go to . I’m going to keep helping him do that. That’s for sure.
Mike Klinzing: That’s fantastic. I think that it sounds like from everything that you’ve said tonight and from what we know about the success of the program under your guidance, I’m sure coach client is going to continue the success over the next several years. Never long. He’s going to continue to be there. So Steve, again, we can’t thank you enough for joining us on the hoop that’s podcast tonight and to everyone out there, we will catch you on our next episode.