Arundel fires coach, picks successor Wins, controversy mark Moore's seven-year run

September 26, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Arundel boys' basketball coach Gerald Moore has been fired and replaced by former Broadneck assistant, V. J. Keith.

Moore, the county public schools' only African-American head basketball coach, compiled an 89-72 (.553) record in seven seasons as the Wildcats' coach. Just two years ago, he led Arundel to the school's first region title and 20-win (20-4) season in 20 years and was named The Sun's county Coach of the Year.

Severn's Tank Duckett is the only other African-American head coach in the county.

Arundel athletic director Bernie Walter had no comment on the hiring and firing other than to say it was "strictly a personnel matter and is a major step in our pursuit of excellence at Arundel."

Keith is in his first year as a math teacher and head boys' soccer coach at Southern-Harwood after serving six years as an assistant to Ken Kazmarek at his alma mater, Broadneck. He was expected to assist Tom Albright in the basketball program there and eventually succeed the dean of county coaches (31 years).

Walter hopes Keith will be on the Arundel faculty by next year.

Moore's tenure was marked by several controversial transfers, including one All-County player who moved into Moore's house in Odenton (Arundel district) to play for the Wildcats. That player left Moore's home shortly after the 1994-95 basketball season.

"Everybody gets back-stabbing, and maybe the transfers had something to do with it, but I really don't know the truth as to what happened," said Moore. "I guess they chose to go in another direction."

Despite his claim that he got a good evaluation for last season's job, Moore's contract was not renewed by outgoing principal Midgie Sledge in the spring. Sledge was replaced by William Myers as principal, and Myers conducted the search, which included Moore as one of the applicants.

Myers said the interviewing committee's decision to let Moore go and hire Keith was unanimous and that "it's Arundel's philosophy to find the best possible coaches for our young people."

Moore said he's disappointed to be leaving what "would have been my best team." The Wildcats return three starters from last year's 16-7 team.

"V. J. will do a good job, because I left him a solid program," said Moore, who added with a chuckle: "All he has to do is do like Switzer [Barry, Dallas Cowboys coach] in his first year. Just keep his mouth shut and let them play."

Walter also announced that former Northeast softball coach Marianne Shultz, now on the Arundel faculty in physical education, has been named head indoor-track coach and that Bud Rorison takes over the tennis program.

Shultz led Northeast to an 18-7 record and the Class 2A state final last spring. She was named The Sun's county Coach of the Year. Walter said Shultz will not coach softball at Arundel.

Rorison formerly coached at Meade, but now teaches math at Arundel.

"We've hired three terrific coaches to add to our already great coaching and teaching staff," said Walter.

Pub Date: 9/26/96

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