MOORE — It was just time, according to Chad Mashburn. That is how the Moore High athletic director described the departure of two of the Lions’ coaches over the last couple of months.
Gone are girls basketball coach Tim Gray and swimming coach Rhonda Nelson. While several factors went into their departures, athlete development and competitive success were areas Mashburn looked at when making these decisions.
“I’m not going to sit here and say that’s not a factor,” Mashburn said. “Because ultimately, it is. But you have to look at everything. I don’t believe in these two situations, that was the reason. But being new to this, you have to look at every aspect of everything.
“You have to look at where the program is, what’s the program accomplishing, if the kids are getting better, how they are competing, the attitude of those kids, what they are saying about the teams they are on.”
Gray took over the girls’ basketball team in 2007. In his six years at Moore, the Lions racked up a 19-124 record. This past season, Moore went 3-20, including an 87-19 loss and a 101-18 defeat at the hands of rival Southmoore.
“We made the decision late March, early April,” Mashburn said. “We brought him in and made the decision. He was surprised. He had put a lot of hard work into it. I understand his loyalty here … The things that he’s done, the character he’s built with these girls has been something really cool and neat to see. But we just felt like it was time.”
In the past Gray had commented several times about the challenge involved in trying to make the Moore girls competitive at the Class 6A level. Even though he tried to change the attitude and mindset around the program, he was never able to see that translate into wins on the court.