When his football career ended, former Rochester, Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Derek Moye thought that he might want to get into coaching, but he wasn’t even really looking when Mike Warfield offered him a spot on the Aliquippa staff a year ago.
One year later, Moye has shot through the ranks and has accepted a new position as the head coach at Western Beaver.
The success Moye, Warfield, and Aliquippa had with installing a new, spread offense was immediately noticeable. The Quips won their first PIAA state championship since 2003 and several of the Aliquippa players credited the offense with helping them get recruited at the next level.
“Having that opportunity to have that opportunity to go to Aliquippa for a year and be back around football and be around the kids was definitely something that made me realize how much I love coaching,” Moye said to Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I loved it there. The people, the community, the rest of the coaching staff, the kids. It was a great experience for me to be back around high school sports and to be lucky enough to be around such a good team and a football-oriented community. It made things easy and it made things fun.”
So when Western Beaver athletic director Ryan Matsook needed a new head coach, he didn’t have to go very far to find his first option.
“I have know Ryan Matsook for a while,” Moye said. “He coached me in high school. Just kind of talking to him, he asked if I’d be interested. Just thought about it a little bit and ended up deciding to move forward.”
Western Beaver went 3-7 last year after making the playoffs in 2017, but was a young team that will return most of its core.
“I know we have some decent athletes that are coming back,” Moye said. “Ryan has a lot of good things to say about the kids, personality-wise. It’s going to be a process. It’s not going to be an overnight thing.”
Moye will take the knowledge of the offense he and Warfield installed at Aliquippa with him, but he isn’t sure what type of style he’s going to use until he gets a better handle on the players he’ll be working with.
“It’s hard to run a spread offense and throw the ball around if you don’t have a guy that can throw it and receivers that can catch it,” he said. “In high school, more than anything, it depends on the players that you have. You have to play to the strengths that you have.”
Moye said he’s taken some coaching philosophies from many of the coaches he’s played for — and he’s suited up for some good ones — Joe Paterno, Sean Payton and Mike Tomlin to start. But his biggest influence is not the biggest name.
“I think I’ve probably taken a little from a lot of them,” Moye said. “The one that comes to mind first is Richard Mann. He was the Steelers wide receivers coach and he’s an Aliquippa guy himself. He just had so much knowledge about football in general and obviously the position of receiver. He was an older guy but he was able to connect and be relatable to us as players and also find a way to get his coaching points across to us.
“Just being around him for two years was an invaluable experience.”
You can also find this story on our parent site Pittsburgh Sports Now.
Mic Drop: WPXI’s Aaron Martin Offers Best, Worst Sports Memories
WPXI’s Aaron Martin joined Mike Asti to discuss some of his best and worst sports memories, both as a fan and ones that he was able to cover. Mike gets Aaron to ponder some “what ifs?” when it comes to Pittsburgh sports, which includes reliving some awful Steelers memories like the 2001 AFC Championship loss to the Patriots.
Could Leonard Fournette follow Jerome Bettis as Hall of Fame Running Back Acquired in Trade?
Leonard Fournette is not Jerome Bettis.
At least not yet.
But if the Steelers pull of a trade for Fournette — like some are speculating they could or should. The comparisons between that and the trade with the St. Louis Rams that brought them Jerome Bettis would be immediate.
It was fourteen years and one day ago (April 20, 1996) that the Steelers acquired Jerome Bettis and a third-round pick for the team’s second-round pick in that year’s draft and a fourth-round selection in 1997.
Bettis had exploded into the league with 1429 yards on the ground in his first year. However the Rams weren’t a great team at the time and Bettis struggled in years two and three. After the Rams drafted Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips in the first-round, the team turned around and dealt Bettis to the Steelers.
Fournette like Bettis was at the time, is going into his fourth year in the NFL. Both were top 10 selections in the NFL Draft. Unlike Bettis, Fournette is coming off his best season as a pro by far. Even while stuck on the offensively inept Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, Fournette had 1152 yards rushing on a career best 4.3 yards per carry and added 76 receptions for 522 yards. His 1674 yards from scrimmage placed him 6th in the league. By comparison, Jerome Bettis was coming off a season in which he had only 743 all-purpose yards.
While the Bettis swap is now regarded as one of the worst in NFL history, at the time, the Rams looked like they were doing the smart thing, getting rid of a underachieving back on the cusp of free agency. Unfortunately for them, Phillips was a bust, and the back they traded away ended up with 1431 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first year with the new team.
It’s a decidedly different era in NFL history. Running backs have very little value and even shorter careers. But if a player of Fournette’s caliber can be had for a mid-round draft pick, would the Steelers be interested in another trade for a running back?
No matter what, it probably wouldn’t work out as well as the one that brought Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis to the Steelers in 1996.
Steelers Maurkice Pouncey, Antonio Brown Selected to NFL All-2010s Team
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown have been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team for the 2010’s, the organization announced on Monday.
Pouncey, who was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, is entering his 12th season with the team this fall. The well-decorated veteran will add this honor to his eight Pro Bowls and five All-Pro selections.
Brown was also selected in the 2010 draft by the Steelers, as the club nabbed him in the sixth round out of Central Michigan. That proved to be a prescient investment. In his nine years with the Steelers, Brown amassed 11,207 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns, leading the NFL in receiving yards in 2014 and 2017, in receptions in 2014 and 2015 and in touchdowns in 2018. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls and was a five-time All-Pro choice before being traded to the Oakland Raiders in advance of the 2019 season.
The two selections represent the Steelers’ lowest number of representatives on an all-decade team since the 1960s, when the team did not have a representative.
Steelers had three selections to the all-2000s team: guard Alan Faneca, linebacker Joey Porter and safety Troy Polamalu. Center Dermontti Dawson, linebackers Kevin Greene, Hardy Nickerson and Levon Kirkland, cornerback Rod Woodson and safety Carnell Lake were selected to the 1990s team. Cornerback Mel Blount, kicker Gary Anderson and head coach Chuck Noll were chosen in the 1980s. In the 1970s, wide receiver Lynn Swann, center Mike Webster, quarterback Terry Bradshaw, running back Franco Harris, defensive linemen L.C. Greenwood and Joe Greene, linebackers Jack Lambert and Jack Ham and Noll were all chosen.