ROCKLAND, Maine — Woody Moore has resigned as head football coach at Oceanside High School in the aftermath of losing his job as RSU 13’s school health coordinator due to state budget cuts.
Moore, who has been the head coach of both the former Rockland District High School and now the consolidated Oceanside football teams since 2007, handed in his resignation to athletic administrator Jim Leonard last Friday and told players of his decision on Monday, the first day of preseason high school football practices.
“Monday was awful,” said Moore. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Just thinking about it was rough.
“But the kids were great, they totally understood, and there were a lot of hugs and a lot of tears.”
Moore’s 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.
Among victims of that cut was funding for health coordinators in 27 public schools across the state, according to reports.
Moore’s contract as school health coordinator at RSU 13 expired shortly after the end of the most recent school year, and continuing efforts by him to land another job have not yet been successful.
Moore waited until late last week to hand in his coaching resignation in hopes of landing a job before then that would allow him to return to the sidelines.
“I was pretty optimistic that something would take shape either within the district or locally,” said Moore. “But there was just nothing.”
Moore will be replaced as Oceanside’s head football coach by Archie Stalcup, who agreed to take the post on an interim basis.
“If Woody gets so his job situation straightens out and there’s a way he can come back and coach, then the door will be open for him to come back,” said Leonard. “That’s what everybody wants.”
Stalcup, a longtime high school coach in New Jersey who went on to become an assistant coach and head coach at LaSalle University, retired to the Midcoast several years ago and maintained his ties to the sport by returning to the high school ranks, first at Rockland and more recently at Camden Hills of Rockport.
“I know and trust Archie,” said Leonard. “Woody and I coached with him under Daryle Weiss at Rockland years ago, and he’s forgotten more football than I’ve ever known.
“He’s got great integrity, and he understands the situation.”
Oceanside is scheduled to host its first preseason scrimmage at 5 p.m. next Monday against Belfast, then host Hermon in an exhibition game on Friday, Aug. 24, before playing its Pine Tree Conference Class B season opener at home against Nokomis of Newport on Friday, Aug. 31.