Gary Moore, Alfred State College class of 1976, is head coach of the full spectrum of running sports on campus: men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track, and men’s and women’s outdoor track.
Exuding a warmth that can only be born of contentment, Gary speaks fondly of his time at ASC, beginning with his salad days as a student all the way through the years to today, where he returns the favor that so influenced his life—that of guiding young athletes to their maximum potential.
Noting that coaches often have a big influence on the lives of athletes, Gary recalls that his first major athletic influence was his father, the athletic director and basketball and baseball coach at local Alfred-Almond Central School.
“He never discouraged me from pursuing the sport that I loved, even if it was different from the ones he coached,” Gary says. “He let me make my own decisions, but I always knew he was there to help and support me.”
Another major lesson Moore learned from his father was that it takes time and commitment to be a good athlete and a good coach—two attributes that Gary has given to his teams—and to Alfred State College—in abundance.
Gary, a “player” coach, is a familiar sight in running gear as he circles the campus daily, practicing what he preaches. Thus, he has gained success not only as a coach, but also as a runner, competing in the US Marathon Championships, finishing seventh in the Philly Marathon, running the Boston Marathon, winning the Empire State Games marathon, and finishing 145th overall and 18th in his age group (Masters) in the prestigious NY Marathon.
Currently he runs with the Genesee Valley Harriers out of Rochester and continues to compete nationally.
Gary’s dedication to his teams and to Alfred State does not stop at the finish line. He is also interested in giving back in other, tangible ways, which is why he has (with his wife Mary’s blessing) made Alfred State College’s Alumni Track and Cross Country Endowment Fund the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy.
When asked about the genesis of this generous gesture, Gary says, “I think it’s important to give back,” citing his history as an ASC graduate and 30-year employee.
“I don’t live a lavish lifestyle, and I can’t see spending 30 thousand dollars on a car when one half the price is suitable. I think my money can be better spent by helping the program that means so much to me.
“The track and cross country programs can always use something to improve them; sometimes those ‘somethings’ are not part of the budget for the sport. I’m hoping that this gift will help the program get those things to enhance it and help keep the program viable for years to come.”
Gary, who pledged this money in 1999, says he is going public at this time “in order to encourage others to think about giving back to Alfred State, too. If I can influence even a few people to give back to Alfred, I’ll be happy.”
In fact, Gary says, “I often tell my students if every alum gave $10 a year to the annual Phonathon, just look at the money we’d raise!”
In addition to his ASC degree, Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree in administration and coaching from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.