Joe Moore O Line Camp
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Tribute to the Legendary Coach Joe Moore. Grimm, and other NFL Players and Coaches line up at camp in honor of the Best Line Coach of all Time.
Joe Moore, a man who defined offensive line coaching in college football for two decades and was famous for the way he defied Notre Dame in the courtroom, died Thursday night at his home in Pittsburgh after a two-year battle with throat cancer. He was 71.
"I loved and respected him and owe my entire career to him," said Bears Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jimbo Covert, who played for Moore at Pittsburgh.
"He's the guy responsible for making me into the offensive lineman that I was and the best offensive line coach in college football history."
Moore coached high school teams in New York and Pennsylvania for 17 years before joining Pitt's staff in 1976. He spent nine years with the Panthers, coaching such All-Americans as Covert and Bill Fralic, and two at Temple before then-Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz hired Moore to coach the Irish offensive line before the 1988 national championship season.
Moore stayed nine seasons in South Bend, sending all but two of his starting offensive linemen to the NFL, including Aaron Taylor, Andy Heck and Tim Ruddy. With a voice that could rattle timber and a scowl that could scare 300-pound men, Moore was the epitome of the old-school football coach.
"He had a unique way of breaking you down if you got big britches," Covert said.
After the '93 season, the Notre Dame National Monogram Club presented Moore with an honorary monogram.
"The best nine years of his life, of our lives as a family, were at Notre Dame," James Moore, one of Moore's three sons, said Thursday night. "He loved that place."
Throughout an age-discrimination lawsuit against the university that made national headlines in 1998, Moore's love of Notre Dame never wavered.
Moore contended that it was illegal for then-ND coach Bob Davie to use age as a reason for firing him and a jury agreed, awarding Moore $150,000 in pay and almost $400,000 in legal fees after a trial five years ago.
"When I first said I was going to do this, every assistant coach in America thought I was crazy," Moore said after that court victory standing next to his wife, Fran, who survives him.
"Now, if a guy applies for a job and he's more qualified but doesn't get the job, maybe because of his age, he's got a case."
That lawsuit may have changed the careers of older assistant coaches, but Moore spent a career changing the lives of young men such as Covert and Fralic.