Rick Moore tapped to become HHS football coach

Rick Moore, Hoquiam High School’s defensive coordinator for the past 10 years, has been recommended as the Grizzlies’ next head football coach, Hoquiam superintendent Mike Parker said Friday.

The recommendation of the selection committee will be presented by HHS Principal Brock Maxfield at the May 16 school board meeting, Parker added. It is subject to school board confirmation.

The 54-year-old Moore would succeed Jason Ronquillo, who resigned earlier this year to accept the head coaching position at Yelm. He would become the 35th football coach in school history, according to historian Ralph Lovelace.

An Aberdeen High graduate and former Bobcat head football coach, Moore currently teaches at Harbor High School in Aberdeen. He has, however, also been recommended to fill Ronquillo’s physical education and weight training teaching position at HHS.

“I’m just stoked. I’m pumped,” Moore said Friday night. “I never thought the opportunity (to be a head coach) would come up again. I was quite pleased being defensive coordinator, seeing my son come through the program. But this opportunity came up and I decided to run with it. I have a passion for the game. I could go another 5-10 years.”

Moore plans to serve as his own defensive coordinator, with assistant coach Jeremy McMillan taking over as offensive coordinator (a duty Ronquillo had handled). He intends to rely heavily on the input of his veteran coaching staff.

“It’s been a melting pot of ideas,” he said. “There will be some subtle changes, not major, in the program. Defensively, we’ll still be an attacking team. Offensively, maybe a spread or maybe a West Coast offense.”

A 1977 Aberdeen High alum, Moore played fullback and inside linebacker for the Bobcats and slotback at Western Washington University.

Returning to the Harbor in 1985, he assisted Ron Langhans and Rob Lonborg at Aberdeen. A highly regarded defensive coordinator with a succession of Bobcat playoff teams in the 1990s, he succeeded Lonborg as head coach in 1998.

The Bobcats struggled through four losing seasons during Moore’s tenure at the helm, but he drew positives even from that experience.

“We had to deal with adversity, but it was a great experience working with the kids,” Moore said. “I learned a lot.”

He returned to coaching as Todd Hoiness’ defensive coordinator at Hoquiam in 2003 and has held that position since. The Grizzlies allowed only 53 points during their first 10 games last year in winning the Evergreen 1A League championship.

“(Hoquiam) is a great situation, with a great youth football program under Jeremy McMillan, great assistant coaches in place and a staff that works together,” Moore said. “The transition will be real smooth.”

This has been a good couple of weeks for the Moore family. His wife, Cindy, was honored as the Aberdeen School District’s Teacher of the Year at its April 25 school board meeting.