ROCKLAND, Maine — Less than three weeks after resigning as the head football coach at Oceanside High School, Woody Moore is back with the Mariners.
Moore had left his football post to pursue full-time work after his position as the RSU 13 health coordinator was the victim of budget cuts earlier this year.
But Moore learned Tuesday that a federal grant applied for through the University of New England has been approved and will allow him to remain with the RSU in a similar capacity, with his new job focusing on nutritional education.
That turn of events also enabled him to reclaim the Oceanside football post from Archie Stalcup, an assistant under Moore who had agreed to take the head coaching job on an interim basis only if the door would be open for Moore to return if he found full-time employment that would enable him to resume coaching.
“I didn’t expect to hear about the grant until the end of September, which is what played into me stepping down from the football job,” said Moore. “And I didn’t have a great feel for us having a great chance to get the grant, but we got the grant.”
Moore subsequently notified Oceanside athletic administrator Jim Leonard of the change in his job status and his interest in continuing to coach the Mariners football team, and once the logistics were cleared up he met with the team to tell them of his return to the sidelines.
“I was standing near the [school] library when Woody told the team in the locker room,” said Leonard. “That’s about 200 feet away, but I could hear all the screaming and yelling when he told the kids. They’re all excited.”
Moore met late into the night Tuesday with Stalcup to get updated on the team’s preseason progress.
“Coach Stalcup has just been great about this,” said Moore. “He’s been really supportive, a great friend and mentor to me. We couldn’t have had a better person leading the team through this.”
Moore has been head coach of both the former Rockland District High School and now the consolidated Oceanside football teams since 2007.
His previous job as school health coordinator had been funded by the Fund for a Healthy Maine, which was subsidized by the state’s settlement with the tobacco industry.
But approximately $2.7 million was cut from that fund as part of a state budget enacted earlier this year that closed an $83 million budget gap in the state Department of Health and Human Services, and among victims of that cut was funding for health coordinators in 27 public schools across the state, according to reports.
His new job, funded through the SNAP-Ed supplemental nutrition program, was the result of a grant application that involved the Knox County Community Health Coalition, a colleague of Moore’s at Healthy Maine Partnerships and the University of New England.
The three-year contract, which is renewable annually, enables Moore to work out of his same RSU 13 office to provide nutrition education to children and families.
“I’m grateful to all the people who worked on this grant, and I’m grateful that Woody Moore is back in RSU 13,” said Leonard. “RSU 13 is stronger today because Woody is part of it, and that’s not just because he’s back as the football coach but because of everything he brings to the district.”
Oceanside is slated to host Nokomis of Newport in its Pine Tree Conference Class B season opener Friday night at Wasgatt Field.