Moore, ex-basketball coach at Lake Clifton, dead at 64

His teams were ranked in nation's Top 20 six times

High Schools

October 18, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

To his son, Charlie Moore Sr. "was an older guy with a young man's swagger and passion, and just this fresh attitude about life that was simply beautiful."

To coaching rival Pete Pompey, the former Lake Clifton High basketball coach was "a true friend" and "as fierce a competitor on the court as he was happy-go-lucky off of it."

Charles Edward "Charlie" Moore Sr. died of a heart attack Wednesday afternoon in the bedroom of his Woodlawn home. He was 64.

Moore amassed a 221-66 coaching record in 14 seasons, including a Class 4A state championship at Lake Clifton in 1994-95.

According to Pompey, a longtime city coach now at Edmondson, Moore was "so friendly, full of love and life," but shrewd and "all business" as a coach.

"I called him Sunshine - that sums it up," former Lake Clifton star Kevin Norris said. "You can be down, mad, everything's going wrong - and he walks in and lights the whole room up."

And Moore didn't forget his players when they left Lake Clifton. He was the first to console Shawnta Rogers when the former All-Metro Player of the Year was not drafted by the NBA after graduating from George Washington.

"You loved him as a person the way he always put a smile on your face, no matter what you were going through. And the way he motivated you, you loved playing for him as a coach," Rogers said from France, where he plays for Le Mans in a professional league. "The last time I saw him, he looked so healthy, so happy. I can't believe he's gone."

A 1957 graduate of Dunbar, where he was a basketball star for legendary coach William "Sugar" Cain, Moore worked for the Baltimore recreation and parks department before going on to play two years each at Maryland State (now Maryland Eastern Shore) and Morgan State until graduating from the latter in 1965. It was at Morgan that he met Laura Jean Johnson, who became his wife of 37 years.

After graduating from college and another stint with the recreation and parks department, Moore began his coaching career with an assistant's job at Coppin State in 1974. After three seasons, he left Coppin to become an assistant basketball coach under Woody Williams at Lake Clifton, where Moore was also a physical education teacher. He took over as head coach at Carver in 1983 before replacing Williams as Lake Clifton's head coach in 1986.

Moore retired from coaching and teaching in September 1997.

And he made his decision in a style all his own: while sunning with his wife on a Caribbean beach in August.

"My wife, Jean, and I took a trip to St. Martin. We were sitting there, and I thought about how it [coaching] had been a long, enjoyable run," Moore told The Sun. "We wrestled with it, back and forth. But I just realized that the time was right."

After her husband's retirement, Jean Moore said he played tennis regularly at the Baltimore Tennis and Fitness Center, and he remained an active supporter of Lake Clifton athletics, most recently watching Lake Clifton's football team in a game at Edmondson.

And retirement had given Moore greater time for his family, particularly the newest of three grandchildren, 7-month-old Cameron, whom he called "Big Red" for his olive skin and large frame. "He kept saying Cameron's going to be a power forward or a center," Charles Moore Jr. said.

"He was my father and my best friend. I could talk to him about anything," said Moore Jr., nicknamed "Fat Man" by his father. "I know he wants us to come through this. I can still hear him now, encouraging me, like, `Come on, Fat, you've got to be strong.' I know that's what's going to keep me going."

Bob Wade often faced Moore's teams when Wade coached at Dunbar.

"When he was at Carver, we had some teams that, on paper, should have blown them out by 30 or 40 points," Wade said. "But he had an uncanny way of motivating his kids so much so that they would play right with us."

Lake Clifton went 20-6 and won the Metro Classic during Moore's first season. His success continued from there, as Lake Clifton continually was ranked among The Sun's top five and among the nation's Top 20 six times.

Moore earned All-Metro Coach of The Year honors in 1994-95. Among his top players were Rogers, Norris (Miami), Michael King (George Washington), Kevin Braswell (Georgetown), Ron Lucas (Kansas State) and Corsley Edwards (Central Connecticut, Sacramento Kings).

"It's a crushing loss," said former All-Metro forward King. "But just the thoughts I have of him, looking back on all those years, all you can do is smile when you think about him."

In addition to his wife, Moore is survived by son Charles Jr., of Woodlawn; daughter Lynn Allison McKinney, of Laurel; brother Raymond Parker, of Baltimore; sisters Edna Moore-Bedford, of Baltimore, and Gloria E. Parker, of New York, and three grandchildren.

A viewing will be held Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at James A. Morton and Sons Funeral Home at 1701 Laurens Street. Funeral services are Monday at 10 a.m. at the New Psalmist Baptist Church, 4501 Old Frederick Road.

The family has suggested donations to a fund to benefit Lake Clifton athletes: the Charles E. Moore Scholarship Fund at Providence Savings Bank, 8638 Liberty Road, Pikesville, Md. 21207.

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