By Andrew Chirco
Upon the retirement of former Director of Athletics Bryan Matthews, Washington College President Sheila Bair promoted Thad Moore to the helm of the Athletics Department.
Moore spent the last 16 years as the head athletic trainer and associate athletic director. During those years, his work was highly recognized by many organizations. Most recently in 2014, Moore was named the Division III Athletic Trainer of the Year by the College/University Athletic Trainers’ Committee of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
Although Moore experienced much success in his previous position, he has had intentions of climbing the ladder since his start at WC. “Since 2000, my ultimate goal was to become an AD. Spending 16 years as an athletic trainer has allowed me to make a smooth transition into this position,” Moore said. “Transition wise, I think I am very well prepared for the role I am in.”
Although Moore had abundant experience with WC Athletics, the hiring process was the same for him as every other applicant. The one advantage was the early knowledge of the job’s availability after Matthews stepped down in July.
“I had to follow the same type of procedure as everyone else. To my knowledge, the committee put forth recommendation as me as AD, which was approved by President Bair.” Moore said.
Serving as an Associate Athletic Director to Matthews provided Moore with valuable lessons that will help him succeed in the position. Moore explained his gratitude to Matthews for allowing him to get his foot into the door.
“Dr. Matthews did a great job in allowing me to take on ever greater roles within the department. He exposed me to a lot of the day-to-day operations that comes within running the Athletic Department.” Moore said. “Another thing that will help me in this position is that I have been here for a long time as the head athletic trainer, so I have 16 years’ worth of student-athletes, which are now alumni who we can hopefully get engaged in helping our current and future athletes.”
When asked about future plans, Moore first talked about the importance of streamlining fundraising while working with the College’s Department of Advancement to help bring in more revenue for athletic programs. Recruiting is another high priority for Moore, who plans to work closely with Admissions to help bring in top talent.
“We need to make sure we are getting the best of the best in order to be more competitive so we can compete for conference championships and compete for bids to the NCAA tournament,” Moore said. “We are also always looking to improve the student-athlete experience. We are studying what exactly the student-athlete experience is and how do we continue to juggle between student and athlete.”
While Moore served as the head athletic trainer, he consistently stayed involved within all student-athletes lives. Now, as AD, Moore is faced with the challenge of maintaining those same relationships. “In my old job, my office was there where I would see all the athletes every day,” Moore said. “In this job, it will be a little different and I want them to feel they can still come and talk to me. I want them to know that I want to be a vital part of their experience here.”
As far as challenges go, Moore went back to the recruiting trail to discuss how important, but hard it is to get the best of the best. After praising the great coaching staff at WC, Moore explained how it is hard to meet the success out on the field if an athletic program can’t bring in talented recruits. “We overcome this by working harder and going to different areas to recruit. We’ve had some success in California, Colorado, Texas, and Florida.”
“I don’t think that there’s a better fit for this position than me. I truly believe it’s a great time to be involved in Washington College Athletics.”