Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Appalachian State's tale nearly untold

BOONE, N.C. — Jerry Moore spent an estimated 25 nights a month on the road in the offseason at various speaking engagements, discussing Appalachian State's three consecutive national titles, the monumental win over Michigan and his mastery of the spread offense that has produced a potential Heisman candidate.

Moore, 69, can't go anywhere in this tight-knit community without getting congratulatory handshakes and questions about his dynamic quarterback, Armanti Edwards. He can watch the ongoing $50-million stadium renovation project from his office window, and he knows every seat is sold this season.

And if Moore ever gets a free moment, he sometimes chuckles at how just three years ago, he feared he was about to be fired.

"There was a lot of uncertainty, staff-wise whether we'd be retained," Moore said recently. "There were a lot of rumors and a lot of stuff flying around. We had never been bad. We just kind of hit the wall a little bit."

Moore's teams routinely made the playoffs in Division I-AA, which the NCAA now calls the Football Championship Subdivision, but only got past the second round once. Then Moore saw tape of a Utah game and fell in love with the spread offense of coach Urban Meyer, now at Florida.

While his shoestring budget didn't allow for a trip to Salt Lake City, Moore worked through a mutual friend to secure an invite to West Virginia, where Rich Rodriguez ran the same offense.

ASU adopted the offense and went 6-5 in 2004, missing the playoffs. But new athletic director Charlie Cobb decided to retain Moore and his staff.

The rest, as Moore describes it, is a "fairy tale." After starting the 2005 season 3-2, Appalachian went 9-1 the rest of the season — the only loss coming to LSU — and won its first national title.

Moore can talk confidently now after his late-in-life gamble to completely change his style led to unprecedented success.

"Michigan, the championships, you couldn't ask for a better closing toward the end of my coaching career," said Moore, who has three years left on his contract. "I know I'm on a back nine, I just don't know what hole I'm on. But it's certainly been exciting."

CLEMSON: Safety DeAndre McDaniel will be accepted into a program for first-time offenders to resolve charges of aggravated assault and battery stemming from an arrest in June.

GEORGIA: Freshman linebacker Charles White (Achilles' tendon) will miss the season.

N.C. STATE: Coach Tom O'Brien said redshirt freshman Russell Wilson will start at quarterback in the opener at South Carolina over senior Daniel Evans.

NOTRE DAME: Tight end Mike Ragone will miss the season after having surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee.


ARKANSAS: The school reported six NCAA violations involving the men's program since February 2007, but none were considered major.

OBITUARY: Larry Hennessy, an All-American at Villanova who went on to play in the NBA, died. He was 79. He died Wednesday in Williamsburg, Va., the school said.


VOLLEYBALL: Nicki Meyer, a senior at Gainesville Buchholz and daughter of UF football coach Urban Meyer, committed to Georgia Tech. Meyer led Buchholz to the 6A state title last season, beating Durant in the final. She joked with the Gainesville Sun that selecting Georgia Tech was okay because "at least it's in the ACC, not the SEC." She said she also had scholarship offers from USF, Ohio and Utah.

Appalachian State's tale nearly untold 08/22/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 22, 2008 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  3. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.