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Shorecrest officially announced the hiring of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer tight end Dave Moore as football coach Wednesday during a news conference in the school's new gymnasium.
Moore, currently a color analyst for the Buccaneer Radio Network, becomes just the third coach in the program's history. He replaces Phil Hayford, who coached 33 seasons, the longest tenure of any coach in Pinellas County athletics. Hayford was told by administrators two months ago that his coaching contract would not be renewed.
"Obviously there is going to be an adjustment coming in as a new coach," Moore said. "There's a lot of tradition here, and I don't want to disrupt or change any of that."
Moore starred at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted in the seventh round by the Dolphins in 1992. He played 15 seasons in the NFL, including 13 seasons with the Buccaneers.
"I have over 25 years of playing experience at every level and want to share that experience with these players and build something," Moore said.
After retiring in 2007, Moore started working as the Buccaneers' color analyst alongside Gene Deckerhoff. Moore also owns an insurance company. His only experience coaching has been as an assistant with the Azalea Bulldogs.
"Football is different," Moore said. "You're not going to have success based on one coach or one player. It's a group effort. The first thing is getting a good group of assistants. I already have a few guys in mind."
Moore was familiar with the Chargers program. His son and daughter both attend the school. Shorecrest, which did not post the football position on the school or Florida High School Athletic Association websites, tabbed Moore as its leading candidate in the past few weeks.
"For over a decade and a half, Dave has had a profound impact on the football community in the Tampa Bay area, and we are very excited and fortunate that he is passionate about touching our students' lives every day as a coach and mentor," Chargers athletic director Tripp Welbourne said.
Moore initially did not know if he would have the time to invest in the program as a head coach.
"I asked what the year-round schedule would be and what's required as far as time commitment," Moore said. "I talked it over with my family. My son was the biggest one pushing me to get out there."
Moore still is unsure what type of system he will run. He said he would eventually like to get the Chargers back to playing a district schedule. Shorecrest, which went 2-8 this past season, is an independent.
"Obviously the kids want to play for something, and we'll try to work on that in the next year," Moore said. "I'm excited to get started."