Login |  Register |  help

Lohud article on Jimmy Moran- new Head coach at Dobbs Ferry

Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2011 by lohud.com-jthomson

Moran eager to give Eagles' faithful something to talk about

 

Comments
Jim Moran played fullback at Stepinac and grew up in Hastings, but says he "was as familiar as a Hastings kid could be with Dobbs Ferry football." The former Rye Country Day assistant coach will try to guide the Eagles back to the state playoffs. Seth Harrison/The Journal News
 
Jim Moran played fullback at Stepinac and grew up in Hastings, but says he "was as familiar as a Hastings kid could be with Dobbs Ferry football." The former Rye Country Day assistant coach will try to guide the Eagles back to the state playoffs. Seth Harrison/The Journal News / Seth Harrison/The Journal News

DOBBS FERRY — Although Jim Moran still hasn't enjoyed such a moment, he knows it's coming, the type of meet-and-greet unique to a town that rejoices and agonizes over a sport, like something out of the movie "Hoosiers."

Grandma Jane delighting in a halfback pass. Uncle Bob trashing a porous pass defense. Cousin Dave championing the wing-T.

"It's a good pressure," Moran said recently from inside a basement office at Dobbs Ferry High School. "You want to be in a place that has high expectations. I think it's easier to go to a place where no one really cares if you win or lose. Now, I'm in a place where the town grocer cares if you win. It's different, but it's a good different. I think I'll like it."

Moran will know for sure soon enough. Last month, the 38-year-old former Rye Country Day assistant was named the new coach of the tradition-rich Eagles, whose three state championships tie Rye and Edgemont for the most by a Section 1 team since the state football tournament was adopted in 1993.

Moran replaced Chris Wagner, who coached the last five seasons at Dobbs Ferry. Wagner won a state championship in 2006 and reached the state final in 2007, but his teams fell short of a Section 1 title in each of the last three seasons. It snapped a state-record streak of seven straight trips to the state playoffs.

In his search for a replacement, Dobbs Ferry athletic director Jim Lindsay conducted multiple rounds of interviews. He was wowed by Moran since their first meeting.

"He just came across really well," Lindsay said. "When I interviewed him, he came across like a college coach."

High school, college and post-college life took Moran mostly away from the Rivertowns, but he said he has long admired Dobbs Ferry's dedication to football.

He was raised in Hastings and lived there as he developed into a two-time 1,000-yard rusher at Stepinac. Moran, who went on to play two seasons for the University at Albany, now lives with his wife and three children in Nanuet. He teaches first grade at Columbus Elementary in New Rochelle

 

A coaching odyssey of more than a decade has led him much closer to home. He can still rattle off names of Dobbs Ferry stars of the 1980s.

"I played Pop Warner in Hastings through eighth grade and went to all the Hastings-Dobbs games," he said. "I was as familiar as a Hastings kid could be with Dobbs Ferry football."

Moran had planned to remain as the offensive coordinator at Rye Country Day, where, in his fourth season under coach John Calandros, the Wildcats won the Fairchester Athletic Association for the first time and reached the second New England Prep School Athletic Conference bowl game in program history. But at the urging of friends, Moran chose to pursue his dream.

"My dream was to be a head coach," he said. "I don't want to say I got complacent, but I was happy. So I said, 'You know what? Let's give it a shot. If it happens, it happens. If not, I'm in a good place.' "

Moran previously helped guide the Stepinac junior varsity to a CHSFL championship. That came before he connected with Calandros for the last 12 seasons at Horace Mann and RCDS.

Moran intends to install a similar offense he ran with Calandros — a hybrid wing-T that should be familiar to his new team.

"I think it's a great hire," Calandros said. "I truly believe that Jimmy's going to do a fantastic job as the new Dobbs Ferry coach."

Moran imagines expectations will be especially high this fall at Dobbs Ferry. He knew after studying the roster before landing the job that the Eagles graduated just two seniors — captains Justin Kennedy and Eddie Fanning — and return budding stars such as all-state linebacker Darien Bica, versatile backs John Yozzo-Scaperrotta and Spencer Avalos, and mammoth sophomore fullback Tim Soave.

"I think this is a team that got a lot of experience last year," Moran said. "There's a lot of good teams, but I think this is a sleeping giant. I think this team can do something this year."

Perhaps the type of something that gets them talking around town.

This page was created in 0.1406 seconds on server 132