Ames High Coaches Remember Derek Moore - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Ames High Coaches Remember Derek Moore

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Addie Olson


A former Ames High School coach was shot and killed in Joplin, Missouri as he left a movie theater Friday night.

Police charged 39-year-old Jeffery Bruner in the murder of Derek Moore. This was Moore's first season coaching at Missouri Southern State University.

Moore only coached at Ames High School in 2002, but in that single year, he made friendships that lasted his entire life.

"He had a tremendous impact on us, just in that one year," said head coach Bruce Vertanen.

Vertanen remembers taking on Moore as a volunteer assistant coach more than ten years ago. He recalls Moore's passion for the game and for his athletes.

"The kids probably wouldn't have known he was volunteering at the time because of the way he poured himself into the job," Vertanen said.

The entire Ames High coaching staff has Derek Moore on their minds as they prepare for tomorrow's play–off game against Urbandale.

"Not only was he a competitor, but he was a great guy, and a lot of fun to be around," said assistant coach Mike Shane.

Shane was coaching at Morningside College when he recruited Moore as a player. Years later, they coached together during that year in Ames.

"The kids knew one thing, that he cared. Not only about winning and competing and doing the best you can on the field, but about being a good person and doing things the right way," Shane said.

In the midst of play-offs, these coaches are thinking about more than football. They're thinking about the loss for Moore's players and family, including a 7–year–old son who he won't get to see grow up.

"He's not going to get to see those things and be around and I think that's the most tragic thing here," Shane said.

"A 7–year–old boy who had a great dad and that's kind of the first thing that comes to mind. It kind of goes away from football immediately and back towards relationships," said Vertanen.

Police say the murder was not random, but the motive is still under investigation.

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