Warrenton Football Coach Leaving for Holt

By Derrick Forsythe, Record Sports Editor
Posted 11/7/19

With success comes notoriety, which often leads to new opportunities. For Ken Moore, that scenario began to play out a few months ago. A chance he felt his family couldn’t afford to pass on came …

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Warrenton Football Coach Leaving for Holt


With success comes notoriety, which often leads to new opportunities. For Ken Moore, that scenario began to play out a few months ago. A chance he felt his family couldn’t afford to pass on came into the picture, and it has prompted him to make a career move. Moore announced on Monday that he will be leaving his job as head football coach at Warrenton High School to pursue a similar position at Holt. Just five months removed from guiding the Warriors’ to their first state championship appearance, Moore says the decision was emotionally draining. “For me to walk away, I have to let go of the kids here,” said Moore. “That’s a hard process. I don’t know that I’ve completely done that. They’ve invested so much time in me, and I’ve invested so much time in them. That’s the biggest part that’s really difficult right now.” Warrenton activities director Craig Frazier says the school hasn’t yet posted the coaching vacancy, as it is still awaiting Moore’s letter of resignation. Moore notes that he is waiting to receive a contract in hand from Holt before moving forward with his resignation. “We’re waiting for confirmation from all sides before we post the opening,” informed Frazier. “We’ll start searching for his replacement once we’re able to post the position.” Moore witnessed a once doormat program make the transformation into a respectable opponent. He was one of the most successful coaches in program history, leading the Warriors to a 21-16 record over his three seasons at the helm. The team improved its win count during each of his years as head coach. “He’s done a great job,” said Frazier. “He’s gotten our team a few points short of the pinnacle. We’re very pleased with what he has put out there on the field.” Moore took over during the fall of 2008, replacing Tracy Kemp. He served as an offensive coordinator during the two seasons prior to that. Before coming to Warrenton, he spent seven seasons as an assistant at Hannibal. Three years ago, Moore inherited a program that had won just six games since 2003. He surpassed that mark in his first season alone, as the Warriors finished 4-7 and ended a 10-year playoff drought. Warrenton returned to the playoffs in 2009, improving its record to 6-5. Last fall, Moore saw the program make its most historical run in school history, finishing second in Class 4. He helped guide the Warriors through an improbable playoff run that resulted in a trip to the state title game at the Edward Jones Dome. It was the first championship appearance in a major sport for any Warrenton team. “It was a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly,” said Moore. “I appreciate our kids effort to get there ... It’s pretty neat when you put the pieces of the puzzle together and make it come out like it has.” The Warriors concluded the 2010 season at 11-4, the second-best win total in school history. Moore’s journey east will see him joining his wife April, who is already a teacher in the district. “Financially, there is a boost there as well,” said Moore. “I look at it for my family’s future, over the course of the years, and it just seems like a good fit for us.” He will be taking over a GAC South program that went 6-5 last season, losing in the regional round of the playoffs. Moore says one of the most appealing elements of the job was the luxury of having countless numbers of athletes from which to choose. He says its something he battled during his time at Warrenton, searching for ways to increase interest in the football program. “I think one of the big bonuses that is a positive going into this is sheer numbers of kids,” said Moore. “We’ve tried to get as many kids out as we can, but we still haven’t quite got the numbers. Walking into a program that has 96 kids grades 10 through 12 that are returning, that’s a big number. I’m looking forward to the possibility of playing kids on one side of the ball only.” Moore will also scale down his classroom responsibilities, becoming strictly a P.E. and weightlifting coach. He expects that will allow him to devote more time to the program that hasn't existed with his previous positions. Moore says he wasn’t necessarily flooded with job offers, but the recent success did provide leverage. “I think it does give you more credibility when you’re going to search,” said Moore. “It gives you a leg up on other people.” But it also creates a dilemma for Moore, who says it was difficult to leave with the program in an improved state but the success has also afforded him new opportunity.“It’s a good situation here football-wise,” said Moore. “There’s a lot of talented kids returning too.” Last year’s postseason journey provided a wealth of memories that Moore says he will carry for a lifetime. In particular, he recalls the semifinal contest during which the Warriors made a remarkable second-half comeback to advance to the title game. “The Sikeston game is going to be a hard one to ever forget,” said Moore. “Seeing our kids emotions after winning their semifinal game and having the opportunity to play in the state championship game was huge, because I had those same kids when they were freshmen and weren’t very successful. They struggled with their emotions and found a way to stay competitive and move forward. It just shows perseverance will pay off ... Those kinds of memories are hard to replace.” Moore is hopeful his departure doesn’t mean the end of his ties with the athletes he has seen mature into young men over the course of his career. “I wish the best for them, and I hope they can continue to grow and we can continue to keep a relationship, because they mean a lot me,” said Moore.