About the only thing the same about this year’s Alabama Christian football team is the field they play on.
The Eagles are introducing a new coach, installing a drastic change in offensive philosophy and incorporating 10 new starters on defense.
Bill Moore makes the move from Houston to take over for Leslie Mote. Mote, who moved to Goodpasture High School in Tennessee, went 4-6 in 2012 and was 9-11 in two seasons as head coach.
Moore, who has 11 years coaching experience in Texas and is 3-14 in two seasons as head coach, is flipping the script on offense, opting out of Mote’s triple-option offense for a no-huddle, spread attack.
But ACA is no stranger to change.
For the Eagles’ seniors, Moore is their third head coach in four seasons.
“Our freshman year, we had coach (Kenny) Simpson, and he ran a spread offense too,” ACA senior offensive and defensive lineman Jonathan Hall said. “For a while it worked, but it didn’t work as well (as it does now). Then the next year, we switched up with coach Mote. He was already our defensive coordinator and he came up to head coach, he switched things around. Then the next year, he switched things around again.
“So as far as having change, you just get used to it, but it’s still going to take time. But I think the change this year is going to be really beneficial with the size and the talent that we have this year.”
With 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior Chandler Taylor under center, arm talent won’t be an issue for Moore. Taylor, the Eagles’ ace in baseball, has verbally committed to play outfield for Alabama.
“Any time you look to make that transition, you look at the quarterback position,” Moore said. “And you’ve got a kid who’s got the tools, and the attitude, and the mentality to really fit that position in Chandler Taylor. And that really is a key to what we’re trying to do.”
Moore visited ACA soon after he was hired in May. He used spring practice to install his new scheme, and said the foundation laid in May helped his team hit the ground running during summer workouts.
The weeklong tutorial also gave senior running back Sam Moody some extra practice with his new additional defensive duties at free safety.
“I’ve always been an offensive guy,” Moody said. Defense is new to me, but I’m really liking it. I’m probably going to have to play a little bit both ways. I’ll be wherever I’m needed.”
Moore’s new offense drew new players to the practice field, getting athletes from the basketball and baseball teams. With so many new faces, Moore said the transition has been as smooth as it could be.
“We have a lot of new guys that haven’t been playing come out for the team this year,” Moore said. “So whatever system it would’ve been, it would’ve been new for them. I expected that coming in, I knew it was going to be a philosophy change, so it hasn’t been a difficult transition, it’s been an expected transition. The best thing is that all of the guys have bought in.”