PDT Sports Contributor
When leaders are called upon to perform certain tasks, they are expected to perform those aforementioned tasks at a high level.
In his seven seasons at the helm of the Shawnee State Bears’ baseball program, Ted Tom got his teams to perform at a high level as he took a program that had struggled to find consistency in the American Mideast Conference (AMC) into one of the Mid-South Conference’s (MSC) toughest outs on a year-in and year-out basis while accumulating four-straight winning seasons and two conference championships (one regular-season, one tournament) during his seven years as the lead skipper for the blue and white.
As many people would figure, it would only be a matter of time before Tom got another opportunity to continue to rise up through the ranks of college baseball as his accomplishments at SSU impressed the University of Cincinnati enough to hire him as the Bearcats’ Director of Baseball Operations.
However, there is another young coach who has risen through the ranks in a similar manner and that aforementioned coach has a pretty deep coaching pedigree of his own.
In addition to being the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bears’ baseball program over the past seven seasons, Chris Moore has managed the Southern Ohio Copperheads, a collegiate prospect team, as well as the esteemed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where he coached three Major League Baseball top 10 round picks in John Ryan Murphy, Tyler Pastornicky, and Paolo Espino.
Of the three, Murphy is currently in the MLB with the New York Yankees while Pastornicky and Espino are currently with the Gwinnett Braves and the Syracuse Chiefs, which are the Triple-A affiliates of the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals, respectively.
As one can tell by the statistics listed above, this job is definitely not Moore’s first rodeo. However, that doesn’t mean the job is any less special to the Washington state native. In addition to the excitement level that Moore has about taking the reins of a college baseball program for the first time, Moore is also thrilled with the players and staff that he has assembled for the upcoming season.
“Our whole staff is excited about where we’re headed, and hopefully, we can continue that upward trend that Coach Tom has put us on,” Moore said. “We have an extraordinarily talented group of players that are already with us and we have a great recruiting class that’s coming in for us as well. They’re working hard and doing the necessary things early on in the year, which is always encouraging for a coach to see.”
“… I’m certainly happy to be in this position and I am anxious to get going, for sure. I’m excited to see what our players and assistant coaches can do (during the season).”
Jeff Hamilton, who is the athletic director as well as the head basketball coach for Shawnee State, said that Moore’s charisma and overall work ethic both on and off the field are the qualities that he has been most impressed with during Moore’s time with the Bears.
“Chris’ main qualities are his work ethic and the dedication to his players and his own job tasks,” Hamilton said. “He’s an outstanding recruiter and can talk with people from all kinds of different backgrounds. He’s just a charismatic guy who will work as hard as he possibly can to get to know somebody.”
As far as Moore’s staff is concerned, former SSU pitcher Austin Dunfee, who finished his collegiate playing career in 2012, will take over Moore’s slot as the pitching coach for the Bears. Phillip Butler, who played for the Bears in the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a junior college transfer from Blinn Community College in Spring, Texas, will return for his third season as a member of the SSU coaching staff and will be the hitting and catching coach.
Lastly, Daniel Katayama and Bryan Sharkey will help the Bears coaching staff out as student assistants for this season after finishing their collegiate careers earlier this past spring for Shawnee State.
When it comes down to Shawnee State’s overall baseball philosophy, Moore says that very little will change from what has been taught over recent seasons, and that is because Moore and Tom shared many of the same viewpoints about the game of baseball.
“The nice thing about Coach Tom and I was that when we saw something on the field, typically, we would see it the exact same way,” Moore said. “Often, Coach Tom and I wouldn’t have to verbalize what it was that we were going to do or what we thought in a certain situation, which I’m sure was frustrating for others and the coaches that we’ve had, because he and I were on the same wavelength.”
“… We were fortunate enough to work together long enough to where we are now, basically, one in the same. I think that it made our working relationship really good and it will make the transition seamless for the guys that we have here now. The program’s not any different than it was before Coach Tom left. My personality might vary somewhat from his, but in terms of what we do, it’s going to be exactly the same.”