GSU grad assistant served 10 years in military

Greetings, all-

Hope you are well and eagerly awaiting Saturday’s game. I thought I’d do something a little different today. A few weeks ago, Allison George, the head of the athletic department’s sports information staff, introduced me to Josh Moore, who is a graduate assistant in football operations.

Most grad assistants are just out of college, starting their climb into coaching or sports administration by putting in a lot of hours in exchange for the work experience and tuition. Moore is married, 28-years-old and was a staff sergeant in the Air Force who had twice been deployed to serve as a meteorologist.

On deployments, Moore said he “basically forecasted (and) directly briefed all the pilots before each mission.”

Moore also worked for NASA, monitoring weather conditions for the space shuttle. He was recognized for his work and, when he wasn’t deployed, had a pretty good life. Serving in the military had paid for college. He often had three days off a week, time that allowed him to coach football, which he did as much as four hours a day and up to seven days a week at Cocoa Beach High School. It gave him thoughts about becoming a coach full-time.

However, last year, Moore was nearing 10 years of service, halfway to retirement. In the military, you are eligible retire after 20 years of service and receive half your salary for the rest of your life. He had a choice to make.

“A paycheck for the rest of your life for doing nothing is pretty tempting,” he said. However, “I knew it was now or never and I would never get this opportunity again.”

You obviously know how this worked out. Moore began to look for openings, going to a coaching convention and even googling colleges that were starting football teams. That led him to Georgia State. Last November, Moore drove eight hours for an interview with assistant head coach George Pugh, who, as you might imagine, was rather impressed that Moore wanted to give up being set up for life to work for free.

Said Moore, “I had a little pamphlet and he looked at it and he’s like, I don’t need to open that. Just what you’ve shown me alone is good to go.”

With the support of his wife Keri, Moore started this past summer, first starting in recruiting and then moving over to operations. He does a lot of logistics work, things like arranging food, transportation and meetings for the team. He’s also the visiting team liaison, setting up anything from hotel security, practice times and meals for teams when they come to Atlanta.

He works seven days a week, sometimes up to 18 hours a day. Keri brings home the paycheck these days.

“Some people might call it crazy, but it’s what I want to do,” Moore said.

After he earns a degree in sports administration, Moore wants to work in college administration, but ultimately wants to be a high school athletic director and coach in Texas, where he grew up.

He admitted he sometimes wonders about his decision, but he says small signs have helped him. The roster, rather improbably, includes a player from Moore’s high school, defensive lineman Kalan Jenkins. The back entrance to the team’s practice facility is on Moore Street. Perhaps more confirming is the experience he has received working for Bill Curry and his staff.

Said Moore, “It seems like every day that goes along, I know that I’ve made the right choice.”

15 comments Add your comment

GSUtimes2

October 7th, 2010
8:45 am

GSUtimes2

October 7th, 2010
8:51 am

Great article, Ken! It’s great to hear these stories about how dedicated everyone is to building this program.

LTC Phil

October 7th, 2010
9:26 am

I recall that being chest deep in rice paddies and bitten by flies in the middle east, to say nothing of being shot at, as a long way from doing nothing. Anyone who serves 20 years in the military earns every penny of the “retirement check for the rest of their lives.” In fact, quite a few veterans didn’t live to receive that check. A bad choice of words by a writer who doesn’t know better. That being said, good luck to Mr. Moore and the Panthers.

GStateBen

October 7th, 2010
9:57 am

Thanks for your service LTC Phil! One point of clarification though, Ken didn’t say he was doing nothing, that was a quote from the humble Josh Moore.

Great write up Ken! Yet another awesome story about the people involved with this team. It’s truly amazing to be a fan of this program.

Ken Sugiura

October 7th, 2010
11:40 am

Thanks for the kind words, times2. and thanks, Ben, for clarifying.

Itsmeagain

October 7th, 2010
11:55 am

I believe any professional in the military earns every penny they get. However, it seems like a hell of a thing to give up when you’re half way there. I guess maybe it’s an example to follow, going after your dreams rather than sticking around for what’s practical.

Carl34

October 7th, 2010
1:48 pm

It’s called an unpaid internship. Hope they have a permanent place for him at GSU. You want to keep your best people.

PTC DAWG

October 7th, 2010
2:25 pm

GSU is in Statesboro.

GStateBen

October 7th, 2010
2:49 pm

It’s amazing how if you keep saying things, you can convince yourself it’s the truth.

As an Army brat, a whole lot of factors about being halfway there though. My father served 22 years in the Army and he moved 23 times. I move 7 times in my lifetime. It’s hard enough to be married and travel like that. Even tougher if you’re 28 and thinking about starting a family. I’m 29 and can absolutely sympathize.

Observation

October 7th, 2010
3:03 pm

Nobody cares about that cow college in Statesboro except the slackers that go there.

itsmeagain

October 7th, 2010
4:05 pm

@ GStateBen – I’ve never had to deal with it (well, not from a military perspective; my parents moved me to the US, but whatever), but i went to high school in Warner Robins, and if you know middle Georgia at all you know thats where the huge Robins Air Force Base is. All through high school i got used to the fact that half the people i made friends with would be moving away in a year or so, it was just a part of life. That and the sonic booms that would happen at all hours.

Panther Prowler!

October 7th, 2010
5:22 pm

Those Savannah State helmets look stylish!

I wonder how they’ll look when the Tigers get clawed up on Saturday?

GO PANTHERS!!

God Bless America... and no one else

October 7th, 2010
6:06 pm

GSU is in Statesboro.

zgoldatl

October 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

Great article. Good to get to know the coaches, especially heroes. Thank you for your service to our country, Mr. Moore.

zgoldatl

October 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

And No, GSU is in Atlanta. Check the website, http://www.gsu.edu