When the 2018-19 academic year starts next month, Jason Moore will switch roles from being a teacher and coach to being part of the Wentzville Holt High administration staff.
After 17 years of teaching and leading the Holt Indians wrestling team as head coach, Moore will be one of Holt High’s assistant principals. He is looking forward to a new challenge in his career.
“It was a new opportunity and a new challenge and I wanted to change things up a little bit,” Moore said. “The opportunity to impact more students’ lives was appealing to me and it’s another opportunity to be involved [in the school] and help some more kids. I’m excited about the change.”
Moore admitted that it will be a definite change not being around wrestling on a daily basis after nearly two decades of being heavily involved in the sport year-round.
“It was a really tough decision having taught and coached the last 17 years, and there are some really good wrestlers that I’m not going to have much contact with, so that will be hard,” Moore said. “I going to stay involved and I’ll probably do some club coaching and I’ll do some spring freestyle, Greco-roman wrestling coaching. So I won’t be an official high school wrestling coach, but I’ll still be involved [with the sport].”
Moore wrestled in high school in 1995 and 1996 for coach Craig Martin and helped St. Charles West win back-to-back Class 3A championships in those years.
After winning a pair of individual state championships at St. Charles West in high school, Moore went on to collegiate wrestling at the University of Missouri.
During his tenure at Holt, the Indians became one of the top wrestling programs in St. Charles County and the state, winning Class 3 team championships in 2007 and 2008 along with a second place finish in 2015.
Moore leaves the program in a solid position as 9 of 14 starters are expected back in the fold for next winter.
Those starters include juniors-to-be standouts Colton Hawks and Carter Smith, both of which were top five finishers at state last season.
According to Moore, the program is going to be in good hands going forward as 2008 alum Andrew Hammond is going to take over the program.
“Coach Hammond will do a good job,” Moore said. “He graduated from Holt High School and he went on to wrestle in college and he’s returning to coach football and wrestling here. I know he’s excited about the opportunity and I know he and his staff will do a good job.”
Moore’s presence will be missed by his fellow coaches in the Gateway Athletic Conference. He was considered the dean of coaches in the conference.
“Jason is one of my best friends and we have known each other since we wrestled each other in Little League,” Francis Howell coach Kevin Stroh said. “We wrestled each other a couple of times in high school and we were teammates in college and we’ve been best friends all along the way.
“We had a good friendly rivalry and I’ll miss that competition but he’s set the standard for wrestling in St. Charles County … He was one of the hardest-working, smartest coaches we had and wrestling has really been a part of his life for a long time. I’m really happy for him to have this opportunity now. He’s got a young family with kids and this a good thing for him to have now.”
Through his tenure at Holt, Moore strived to make the wrestling program be much more impactful than just an after-school sport.
He and his coaches worked tirelessly to maintain a strong level of success and were especially proud of being able to help send many wrestlers to the college level to compete and continue their education.
“That is one of the things I’m most proud of as a coach,” Moore said. “The number of student-athletes that we have helped, either go on to college … or go on to the military or go on to trade school. We have got wrestlers studying to be doctors and some have had success in finance and several guys have gone into the military.”