Elijah Moore, a former head football coach at Greenville High School and a man who spent more than 60 years coaching and teaching Greenville children, died Tuesday at the age of 88. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Moore’s impact on teenagers began at Coleman High School in 1955. At Coleman, his alma mater, Moore helped lead the school to a number of championships as an assistant football coach and head track coach.
“He was a great teacher and a great coach,” said Davis Weathersby, Moore’s lifelong friend and college roommate at Alcorn State. “What made him so great was how much he cared about the kids he coached.”
After coaching stops at Mississippi Valley State and Solomon Middle School, Moore joined the Greenville High School staff and spent one year as the defensive coordinator and five years as the head football coach, athletic director and track coach.
Moore retired from the Greenville Public School System in 1992, but not from his vocation of coaching. Since 1958 until a few years before his death, Moore devoted himself as an organizer and advocate for little league baseball and, later, flag football. With the assistance of Coach John Hawkins, he organized the Babe Ruth Baseball League, winning three state championships along the way. He also coached hundreds of children in the North Dixie Baseball League.
Moore and Weathersby became inseparable friends at Alcorn State.
After graduation, Weathersby was hired as the head football coach at Coleman High while Moore served in the Army for 18 months in Germany. Moore, who is in Alcorn’s Hall of Fame, returned to Greenville where he joined Weathersby’s staff. The two of them put together four championship teams in football, where each time the Tigers were the underdog.
At Coleman, Weathersby and Moore made an impact on a countless number of players, including wide receiver Willie Richardson who later went on to become an all-pro player in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts.
“They’re really the reason for me going off to college,” Richardson said in a 2013 interview in the Delta Democrat-Times. “They had me convinced I was the guy who had to perform every game for us to win, and I bought into it.”
Moore was born Aug. 25, 1931 on the Haxton Plantation, located on the outskirts of Greenville. His parents were Tellis and Sarah Moore.
Moore is survived by his wife, Helen; and his two daughters Pamela and Michelle. His son, Elijah Dwayne Moore, is deceased.