‘Dogs baseball coach Moore stepping down
Steve Moore is stepping down as the baseball coach at Palisade High School, but the two-time coach of the year in the Class 4A Western Slope League didn’t want to.
Moore said he decided Wednesday to exit as the coach after determining there was nothing more he could do to resolve issues in which he and school administrators had differences of opinion.
The high school announced Moore’s resignation Thursday in a news release. Moore said he told his players about it Wednesday night, and there was a lot of emotion and tears during that meeting.
“This is definitely something I didn’t want and wasn’t expecting,” Moore said. “It was a combination of the administration and the athletic director and I had some differences of opinion on some issues.
“I tried to cure some of the issues they were asking me to, and I couldn’t do any more as a coach ... If somebody can make everybody happy all of the time, my hat’s off to them. ... I couldn’t live up to their expectations, and we parted ways.”
Moore declined to expound on the differences of opinion, but he said it had a lot to do with communication, and he acknowledged coaches with outside-the-school jobs face greater challenges than coaches who work in the school. Moore is a Grand Junction Police Department officer, but he said the Police Department has been wonderful in working with him so he could coach.
Moore was the Bulldogs’ head coach for seven years and an assistant for six years. He guided Palisade to four league titles, including this spring, and Moore was selected the 4A WSL coach of the year each of the past two seasons when the Bulldogs went a combined 35-6.
Palisade Athletic Director Mike Krueger said he told Moore the school wanted to go in a different direction, and Moore’s departure was a mutual agreement. Krueger said he is not at liberty to discuss specifics.
“It’s a frustrating thing to not be able to do that,” he said.
What he could say was programs are evaluated every year from a global perspective, and the kids in the Palisade athletic programs are the school’s No. 1 responsibility and the priority in all decisions the administration makes.
“Decisions are never made by one individual,” Krueger said, adding they rarely are based on one year. “They’re not made in a vacuum.”
Krueger added Moore is one of his best friends, and he expects they will get past what transpired.
“When one of your best friends steps down from a position, that makes it tough,” Krueger said. “I know he’s hurting, and that hurts me.”
Moore said he hopes to return to coaching baseball but not right away. He said he loves working with kids, and he’s proud of what Palisade accomplished, the level the program has reached and that he could be part of it.
“It’s going to take some time because those kids mean so much to me,” Moore said of needing time to get over his exit.
Krueger said the job posting and process for hiring a new baseball coach will begin right away.
The next coach, Moore said, “is going to have a talented team with tons of character.”
Palisade went 17-3 this past season, including 14-0 in the 4A WSL, and earned a No. 5 seed in the Class 4A state playoffs, but the Bulldogs fell in the first round — a 5-4 loss to Pueblo East.