Sharon Moore promised her mom she wouldn't swear and promised she wouldn't get emotional.
At least he kept his word to his mother. A composed, still slightly tearful Moore described his feelings Saturday morning at the Junge Family Champions Center as he shook athletic director Warde Manuel's hand and was officially named the 21st Michigan football coach in history.
“Speechless, happy, excited, anxious,” Moore began her mix of emotions. “A lot of things went through my head, but all I knew was that I wanted to go to work to continue what we did, because I saw the path it took to get there.”
It's a moment for the 37-year-old Moore, who said it wasn't until he was 6 when he was in high school that he thought he was going to the NBA to become the next Charles Barkley. A 4-foot center doesn't exist in the NBA.
Her daughter Shiloh insisted she wear pink socks on stage. Support.
Moore went through a list of people who helped guide him through this moment. He started with his coaches from high school, then from his days as a JUCO offensive lineman at Butler (Kansas) Community College, before describing the exact moment he knew he wanted to be a head coach.
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That came in the spring for his senior year at Oklahoma, when he played for Hall of Famer Bob Stoops. Moore remembers a day when he and his teammates stood on the stretch line, watching the coach pace up and down the lineups and have one-on-one conversations with the players.
“I wanted to lead people, I wanted to shape them,” Moore recalls of his thought process. “That was the moment it clicked. I started studying the game in depth, not just what my position was doing, but others.”
He spent five years honing his skills at Louisville — first as a graduate assistant for three seasons, then the final two as tight ends coach — before taking the same position at Central Michigan.
But everything really changed for Moore when he went into his first interview with Jim Harbaugh, a day he says he'll never forget. Moore spoke with Jim and Jack Harbaugh, Jay Harbaugh, Dan Brown, Pep Hamilton and one more coach.
He's always advised to be his true self in an interview, and that's exactly what Moore did.
“The first thing I did was I took my jacket off, I took the chair out and showed them how to run the block,” Moore laughed. “Obviously, you know coach, he was right there. He got up, tightened his belt. He wanted me to block him, and he pulled another guy and was like, 'Go ahead, base drive him, run-block him.' It was like knocking him out.
The meeting lasted 5 hours and was one of Moore's best meetings when Harbaugh went full Harbaugh.
“We went to the movies and I was like, 'Yeah, you want to spend the night,'” Moore recalled. “I was like, 'Coach, I came in a suit.' He goes, 'yeah, we'll go down, get you gear, it'll be good'. So I spent the night and got the next job. day.”
As they say, the rest is history.
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Becoming a Game Caller
Moore moved up from tight ends coach (2018-20) to coaching the offensive line and sharing co-offensive coordinator duties for a pair of seasons (2021-22), before becoming the sole offensive coordinator last year. Assigned play-calling duties for the first time.
How did that happen?
Michigan never trailed for a minute in the second half of a regular-season game this year, and a man with the mentality and philosophy of “Smash” orchestrated an offense that tied Blake Corum for a record 14th in touchdowns. Nationally in scoring (35.9 points per game).
While going from coordinator to head coach is never guaranteed, it's rare that someone gets the coaching job Moore was given last season.
Harbaugh was suspended twice for three games, each for two separate NCAA hearings, and Moore led one of the first three games (Bowling Green) and then three of the final games of the year — at Penn State, Maryland, against Ohio State — with the season.
“The man auditioned four games,” Manuel said. “At first you're all like, 'Warde can coach it,' no I can't, but you can't blow what he did on the road against Penn State, you certainly can't. What he did against Ohio State.”
“When I look back at those games, to see how he did against Maryland in a tough situation, I'll tell you what. To see that, on the road. It was all interesting. So I think that's what I was hired for. The guy who led those four games.”
Of course, being a head coach means there's more to talking to the refs and making important calls on Saturday.
Moore has long been seen as a recruiter in Ann Arbor, and he plans to take that same mentality with him as the head man, though the times will be few and far between.
Talking to donors, governors and fans, focusing on academics and compliance, maintaining open communication with the AD and the president – oh, so big these days, NIL.
“I wanted to hear his answer to that. … More things that he has to do beyond being a head coach,” Manuel said. “I didn't want to know what Jim's plan was, every answer to the question was 'I'm going to do what Jim did.' I wanted to know what Sharon was thinking.
“So two-and-a-half hours of conversations happened about that, things a head coach has to deal with and he did a great job.”
Manuel said Saturday he looked at other people “if I had to open this up, that's where I'd go” but said Moore was a prime target. Before Harbaugh made the announcement, Manuel assured Moore that he would be the first person to sit down.
That happened Thursday morning, 12 hours after Harbaugh made his decision to move to Los Angeles to join the Chargers. After 36 hours, Manuel called Moore into his office and the two finalized the documents.
Not only is he the 21st Michigan football coach of all time, Moore is now the first black head coach to lead the program. He and Manuel, who is black, expressed what it means to be a part of such important history in the department.
“It didn't have any impact on the result, but I understand the extent to which he was chosen,” Manuel said. “This institution is 207 years old, this team is coming up on 145, 145 years and it's the first black person, person, to take the reins. As someone who understands history, I feel really good about it because he's ready.”
“An honor, a privilege, nothing I take for granted, Moore said. “I wanted to show them, regardless of whether you're African-American or white, if you're a good coach, you can do it. Wall off, dreams come true. I want to be an inspiration to people who have that vision and want to do it.”
Moore said his top immediate priority is to meet with players Saturday morning and assemble the staff. Put strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert on that list, but whether that happens remains to be seen.
Also, it is undecided whether Moore will continue to play.
“Not decided yet, probably not,” Moore said. “But we got a good idea of who to put in that position.”
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Being Sharon, not Jim
While Moore called one of Harbaugh's lines that he brings with him “an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” every day, he has repeatedly said that he is not and cannot be Jim Harbaugh.
In Moore's mind, the way to continue winning is to blend the continuity of what Harbaugh has been with the vision that Moore sees as the future. Currently on top of Mt.Michigan. Every team in college football wants to be where UM is.
Moore's only focus was staying there.
“We're going to work through this thing now in three phases: process, follow-up, stable,” Moore said. “We've already started the process, we keep talking about the process of the prize. The prize we've got, but we're hungry for more. Now we're in the pursuit, looking for excellence, just do it. You've got to push, you've got to do it every day on and off the field. .
“That leads you to the standard, and if we keep winning on and off the field, we'll become the standard. That's the goal at the University of Michigan, nothing short of that.”