Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tommy Tuberville put the finishes touches on the football coaching staff for the 2003 season by selecting Patrick Moore as the tight ends coach for the coming year.
After helping Coach Don Dunn with the defensive tackles last season, Moore was added to the staff as the offensive graduate assistant coach to replace Steve Dennis, who came out of coaching retirement to spend one season working with the tight ends at Auburn.
"Patrick is a guy that has been a full-time coach," Tuberville tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "He worked at Western Carolina and has a lot of knowledge about dealing with young people. He's basically an offensive line coach and a tight end coach. What he'll do with Coach (Hugh) Nall is that he's going to be a graduate assistant and work with tight ends and tackles. It is kind of the same thing we did with Steve Dennis.
"I think it's going to work out great because he's an older guy who has been around football. He knows how to coach and has a chance to use his experience that he's had from coaching players over the years. That will help him in this situation. I'm excited about Patrick because he's hard-nosed. One thing we want to do is continue to run the ball better and better and it all starts with the tight end."
An offensive lineman at Illinois Wesleyan, a Division III school, Moore got right into coaching following his playing days. After coaching on the high school level for two seasons in Illinois, he moved to Western Carolina University where he coached both the inside linebackers and defensive tackles over the course of two seasons. In his second year at Auburn, Moore says he's excited about the chance to be a position coach for the Tigers.
"For a young guy, old guy, or whoever, it's a heck of an opportunity," Moore says. "The fact of being a position coach in the SEC is what every coach strives for. High school coaches, college coaches, even professional coaches want to get to the SEC.
"To have that opportunity is just something that you can't expect, but it's something that you have to strive for and work towards. To have this opportunity so early in my coaching career, I realize how fortunate I am and how good of an opportunity that Coach Tuberville and Coach Nall gave me. There has been quite of bit of jumping around from offense to defense in my career, but that's what gives you the experience and what makes you a better coach no matter what side of the ball you wind up on."
Sometimes things happen for a reason and for Moore a sequence of events that led him to Auburn began when he got to Western Carolina. While he didn't have much knowledge of Auburn at the time other than the occasional sighting on television, Moore would soon be a regular visitor to the Plains and those visits would eventually lead him to coaching on the Auburn staff.
"My head coach at Western Carolina was on the same staff as Don Dunn and Andy Lutz at Pacific," Moore notes. "Actually my roomate who I coached with at Western Carolina was recruited by Don Dunn at Pacific. When we would come down here for camps and clinics and when I recruited Mississippi junior colleges, I would stop in and see Coach Dunn on the way back.
"Auburn was a place I always felt welcome and I just always stopped by. I called Coach Dunn last spring and talked to him to see what was going on. He said they might have an opening here and a week later I was down here working. It was a great opportunity and Coach Dunn stuck his neck out for me."
Moore and the rest of the Auburn staff will get spring practice underway beginning on March 4. The team will have 15 practice days leading up to the annual A-Day game, which is scheduled for April 5 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
(Part six of the series will be published on Monday.