Appalachian State's home football opener on Saturday featured nods to the football program's past, partially because the matchup was against Elon, a battle between two schools that were Southern Conference foes.
Mainly, though, the pregame festivities paid homage to the man who helped build it all. App State unveiled the Jerry Moore Plaza a couple hours before the game, honoring the Hall of Famer who led the Mountaineers for 24 seasons and to three I-AA/FCS championships.
Moore, 82, joined by his wife, Margaret, and others, helped welcome in the new space with a crowd of Mountaineers fans. The plaza is located near the west side of Kidd Brewer Stadium, equidistant from the main entrance and the recently opened North End Zone facility.
At the center of the bricked platform stands a statue of Moore, a block-A on his hat and his right hand on his chin like he’s watching a play from the sideline.
App State won in his honor too, a 44-10 victory against the visiting Phoenix.
“It's perfect timing for Coach, to get him back in the fold at Appalachian State,” App State coach Shawn Clark said this week. “You’re in this new building right now, and if it wasn’t for Coach Moore, I’m not sure it would be here or not.
“You go back and look at his record, he’s in the College Football Hall of Fame."
During his time in Boone, Moore's teams accumulated 215 of his 242 career victories. His tenure ended after the 2012 season, closing his time at App State with eight straight seasons of at least eight wins. His teams won 10 Southern Conference championships, registered nine seasons of 10 or more victories and helped provide many of the program's signature moments: three straight national championships from 2005 to 2007 and the 34-32 victory against Michigan to start the 2007 season.
Two of the last three head coaches to follow Moore have been former players under the Texas native: Scott Satterfield, head coach from 2013 to 2018, and Clark, who earned the job in 2020.