Moore takes over Walker's varsity girls program
by Johnathan Bentley
Jul 01, 2014 | 3280 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Willie Moore is the new varsity girls head coach at Walker High School. Moore is entering his eighth year as a coach at the school. Moore, a 2002 Walker High School graduate, spent last year as the varsity boys head assistant under coach Rufus McDuffie. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Willie Moore is the new varsity girls head coach at Walker High School. Moore is entering his eighth year as a coach at the school. Moore, a 2002 Walker High School graduate, spent last year as the varsity boys head assistant under coach Rufus McDuffie. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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Willie Moore has been a head coach at the freshman and junior varsity levels.

Now he can add varsity coach to his resume.

Moore was officially hired as Walker High School’s girls basketball coach in mid-June. He takes over for Heath Brunner, who served as the head coach for the last three years.

“Ultimately, I wanted to be a head coach,” said Moore, who is entering his eighth year as a coach at his alma mater. “I’m really excited. I’m greatful for the opportunity. This is home for me. This is where I started my long journey in both coaching and in school. It’s a big deal for me to have this chance.”

Walker’s girls made the playoffs last season, losing in the sub-region round to Wenonah.The Vikings finished 13-12.

The team lost just two seniors from last year’s squad (Sidney Cooper and Shannie Johnson) and returns seven players from last year’s squad.

“The girls have been really good over the last couple of years. Coach Brunner has done a good job. They have a lot of talent and a lot of ability coming back. I think it will be a good opportunity for me,” Moore said.

Moore, 30, is a 2002 graduate of Walker High School. He played collegiately at Bevill State-Walker College for two years before making the jump to West Alabama.

He returned to Walker High School as a coach at 23. He served as the ninth-grade boys coach in his first year and spent the next five years as the JV boys coach before serving as the head varsity boys assistant under Rufus McDuffie last season.

He found out the job was his when Walker High School Principal Gary Bolling gave him a call.

“Mr. Bolling called me and told me that he was going to recommend me for the position. It was an exciting day for me because I felt like this is where I want to be. I think the girls here will make this program successful,” Moore said.  “This is my first experience with the girls. I’ve got one senior (Madisyn Hood) returning along with six juniors (Carleigh Taylor, Sarah McMillon, Annalee Stephens, Anna Claire Harris, Savannah McMillon, and Mary Kate Harrell).”

The new coach has already taken his team for summer tournaments at Hoover, Mississippi State and UAH.

“Things have gone well. What I like about my girls so far is that if I tell them something, they do their best to do exactly what I tell them to do. That’s going to go a long way when the season comes,” said Moore, who will be assisted by Kayla Morrow.

With the move from Class 5A to 6A for the next school year, Walker will be joined in area play with Minor, Jackson-Olin and Hueytown.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good chance to step in there and be contenders for it,” Moore said of the area.

Moore brings an ambitious plan with him into Songer Gym.

“We are going to be committed to hard work, and we are going to give it all we’ve got every time we have the opportunity. We’re going to outwork our opponents. Our theme is Dominate the Day. We are going to change the way that girls basketball has been looked at for so long, as not very exciting. We are going to make people want to watch Walker girls basketball,” Moore said, adding that he may incorporate some aspects from last year’s boys team under McDuffie.

“Coach McDuffie runs an up-tempo style. He likes to press people and create chaos. That really helped our boys. We put some of those things into our own system to make us successful.”