Eric Moore Selected for Indiana Football Hall of Fame Induction
Writer / Kevin Conrad
Some coaches are good. Some are great. And then there are elite coaches like Eric Moore of Center Grove High School (CGHS). What Moore has constructed in his 22 years as the lead architect of the Trojan football program is nothing short of a masterpiece. Under his leadership, CGHS has won three state titles and three state runner-ups. That’s six rings. Moore has added another ring to his collection – an Indiana Football Hall of Fame ring. It’s a ring that symbolizes the culmination of a lot of hard work by many.
“[CGHS football] Assistant Coach Joe Siderewicz called me and wanted to be the first one to tell me that I would be in the Hall of Fame,” Eric says. “I was excited but it was so humbling, to think people thought that much of the work you had done. I immediately thought about every coach that had worked with me, from Florida to Indiana. They are all responsible for this. Then I went to the players. If you don’t have the Jimmies and Joes, you aren’t going to get the Xs and Os. We have accomplished everything you could probably accomplish in high school football. It has taken a lot of work, but it has been very, very rewarding. Sharing it with my family was probably the most gratifying. My wife has allowed me to coach, with her dedication and sacrifice of everything to raise our three great kids.”
Retired Hall of Fame Coach Bill Siderewicz from Martinsville High School has followed the Trojan football program closely. His son Joe is Moore’s top offensive assistant coach, and his grandson Joey was the quarterback for Moore’s 2015 state championship team. Bill Siderewicz says Moore’s program is successful year after year because he has the engagement and support of the community.
“Eric’s program has to be the number-one program going in the state right now,” Bill Siderewicz says. “I haven’t seen a program that has it all together from first grade on up. His program has lasted over time with final fours, runner-ups and state titles. He’s definitely a top-10 coach and program of all time in the state.”
The Center Grove program is not only one of the elite programs in the state, but also in the nation. The 2021 MaxPreps preseason poll has the Trojans ranked seventh in the nation.
“He has put Center Grove football on a national stage,” says CGHS Athletic Director Scott Knapp. “We are continually ranked in national polls and that’s due in large part to his ability to consistently put forth an outstanding, disciplined team. In a community that has come to expect excellence, Coach Moore always produces. That takes a tremendous amount of work, expertise and sacrifice on his part, year after year. He has put Center Grove football on the map.”
Kyle Neddenriep has seen a lot of great Indiana high school football programs and coaches throughout the years firsthand, as the high school beat writer for the Indianapolis Star.
“I’ve talked to many coaches over the years who hold coach Moore in high regard for his commitment to a high standard and his ability to keep the program there,” Neddenriep says. “That is probably the most difficult part – not only getting to the top, but keeping the program there year after year. If you look at Center Grove, it is a true program. You see many of the same names, same families through the years. The kids know the system as they come up through the ranks, and are well aware of who the coaches are and the players who came before them. Moore clearly maximizes the talent that he has. I think that is probably the best thing you can say about any coach in any sport, whether they win state championships or not.”
Prior to Moore’s arrival at CGHS in 1999, the Trojans struggled to win in the IHSAA State Tournament from 1973 to 1998, with only one sectional and regional title, both coming in 1987. Under Moore the Trojans have won 15 sectionals, 14 regionals, six semi-states and three state titles.
Moore’s oldest son Tyson Moore, now in his second year as head football coach at Seymour High School, recalls his father coming to CGHS 23 years ago.
“No one really knew about Center Grove football,” he says. “It was a little 5A school surrounded by corn and bean fields. My dad had come from a powerhouse program in Florida to a school that many people said would never be able to compete with the Indy-area schools that made up the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference. The best way to explain it to someone who has no idea is that my father took a hut and built an empire. He will be the first to admit that it wasn’t just him. He surrounded himself with great people who believed in what he was doing. Over time this program has grown, that community has grown, and now you have Friday nights where everyone comes out and wants to be a part of the special things happening on the field.”
For Moore, it’s more than just a game of football. It’s about impacting the lives of countless young men.
“My dad has poured his heart and soul into this game,” Tyson says. “I always feel fortunate to say that I have learned from one of the best to ever coach this game, and it always gives me a sense of pride when I hear people talk about the great things my father has done and how he has helped build the game of football in the state of Indiana. His Hall of Fame induction is the capstone to an unbelievably successful career, and ironically, it isn’t over.”