Basketball coach retires after 24 years of leading the varsity program
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Rich Moffit, who helmed Grayling High School’s varsity boys basketball program for 24 years, coached his final game for the Vikings last week; he is retiring from teaching and coaching and will soon transition into a new career at the admissions department of a Michigan university.
Moffit said it started with a college tour; he took his son, Trey, a senior at Grayling High School, to Northwood University for a visit, and while they were in the admissions office, Moffit said something like “this would be a good retirement gig for me.”
“The girl leaves, comes back with her boss. They were looking for retired teachers, coaches. We kind of touched base and made it work,” Moffit said. “I knew I was looking for a next career job; this just kind of fell place. Kind of a cool gig. See how it goes.”
Moffit will be working in the admissions office at Northwood University, starting on March 26.
“I have the northeast side of the state,” Moffit said.
He will not finish the school year at Grayling High School; his last day is March 20. Moffit taught psychology and economics at GHS.
“It’s crazy. Just gone by so fast. It’s been cool the last month, word’s spread, people touching base. I’ve gotten letters from former players,” Moffit said. “When you’re teaching in a community like this, it’s great to teach. I’ve got second generation kids coming through now.”
“Great place to raise a family. Great place to go to school,” Moffit said.
Before coming to Grayling with his wife, Kelly, Moffit said they weighed offers from a few different areas, including bigger cities, but opted for northern Michigan because they thought it would be a “great place to raise a family.”
“What happened was what we envisioned,” Moffit said. “No regrets, man.”
During his 24-year coaching career at Grayling High School, Moffit’s squads won several district titles, multiple league championships, and had close to 20 players finish with all-state honors.
Highlights? He said it was tough to look back and list the best memories because there were so many.
“Picking a special moment, special game, I can’t do this,” Moffit said.
Moffit did say that last year’s squad that won a district title – his son, Trey, was a junior on the team – was a high point.
“Last year’s championship was special with all of the kids involved, coaching them, watching them grow up. That made that kind of special,” Moffit said. “We’ve had a lot of cool games.”
Any tough losses that stand out?
“They all do. They all sting, all of them do, because you’re a competitor,” Moffit said.
What will he miss most about coaching?
“Relationships. No doubt about that. The relationships you build with the kids,” Moffit said.
Moffit said he had a lot of help over the years.
“We had a lot of great assistant coaches, all the way up to the present group. The challenge of building a program, we’ve had a lot of help with it, a lot of community support,” Moffit said.
Advances in technology have made things easier over the years, especially with film study. He still has stacks and stacks of VHS tapes of games from the early days.
“Now kids leave the game and it’s loaded up on their phones. It’s crazy,” Moffit said.
He said he’ll miss coaching but he’s “excited” for the new job opportunity.
“It’s been all good, man,” Moffit said.