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June 13, 2014

Menchville Hires Ben Moore

The itch was still there and the timing was right. After stepping down as the Head Basketball Coach at Warwick High School just three years ago, Ben Moore is back coaching in Newport News.

Menchville High School has named Moore its new Head Basketball Coach. Ironically, he takes over for his best friend, Dennis Koutoufas, who stepped down a month ago.

Moore, 57, spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia Wesleyan College, a perennial Division III power. When he went there, Moore didn't anticipate a return to High School Basketball. So what drew him to the Menchville job?

"The opportunity to coach with my son, follow a good friend who was really adamant about having the right guy follow behind him, and probably a little bit of ego with that chance to do some things I may not have been able to do at a district level," Moore told VirginiaPreps.com.

"Dennis had a big impact. If he didn't think it was the right thing, it would've played a big factor. I wasn't going to leave Virginia Wesleyan for anything or any job. It had to be right."

Much harder than taking the vacant gig with the Monarchs was leaving the bench of a Marlins program that hasn't had a losing season or won fewer than 16 games in any of the 14 seasons under Dave Macedo.

"Working with Dave Macedo and being at Virginia Wesleyan with those people was one of the most invigorating, fantastic experiences of my basketball career. Dave is a great coach and an even better man, so working alongside him was something I got a lot out of personally," commented Moore.

"I had to learn how to become an assistant coach again, which means you're a support person. I got a chance to see things from a different perspective."

Moore also noted the presence of Monarchs Athletic Director Greg Henderson being vital in his return to the sidelines at the High School level.

Besides getting Koutoufas' blessing, Moore was given a unique situation and perhaps forms the lone father-son coaching combo on the varsity and junior varsity level in Hampton Roads next season. His son, Chris Moore, played three years on varsity for him at Warwick and attended Chowan University.

Chris will get to be the Head J.V. Coach and a varsity assistant to his dad.

"Being able to teach and learn at the same time is something that I'm actually excited about," the younger Moore said. "As a Head J.V. Coach, I know I've got a lot to learn and I'm eager to learn. It'll be a great experience for me, being with my father, and that'll make it easier to be humble I believe."

How are the two different?

"Chris is more cerebral and we'll have a lot more interaction than coach/player," the elder Moore stated. "I gave him that time to be a young kid and a student. We talked in the car and at night, but now we're going to have lunches, talk after games, break down film and scout together. It'll be a lot different than when it was coach/player."

While at Warwick, Moore compiled a record of 261-263 in 24 seasons. Fortunately for him, it's not exactly a re-building effort he takes over either.

In the four seasons under Koutoufas, Menchville went 65-35, winning the Peninsula District Tournament or PenSouth Conference Tournament three times. The Monarchs finished 18-7 overall last season with three starters from that team - - Richard Washington, DeQuon Lake and Elijah Murphy - - potentially returning.

"K didn't leave cupboard and left it pretty well stocked. If I can just not mess it up. My theory on following K is this: water is hot at 211 degrees. K was the hot water. You add one degree to hot water, it goes from 211 to 212 and then you get steam. My goal is to add that one degree so that we can get steam," Moore said.

"My expectations have always been to subscribe to the highest level. I've always envisioned myself coaching that way, whether I'm at a Middle School, High School, college or pro. I've coached the same way at the PIT and at Wesleyan as I have in AAU and in High School. Wherever it is, my coaching philosophy is the same."

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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