Blue Ridge names football stadium after Paul Moro
August 26, 2019 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365
The following is a press release provided by Blue Ridge High School on their field dedication.
The varsity football field at Blue Ridge High School has been the scene of many dramatic games over the past 40 years. Perhaps the same can be said of any high school football field. But it should be noted that, for consistent excellence, it would be difficult to match the accomplishments of the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets during the coaching tenure of Paul Moro.
For this reason, and out of the deep sense of loss at the passing of Moro in January, a group of boosters secured permission to name the football field where he held court for so many years in his honor. The same group also raised the funds to place a specially lit sign above the stadium in his honor.
On the occasion of the 2019 home opener vs. the Winslow Bulldogs, the field was dedicated and the stadium signage was unveiled, accompanied by approximately 150 of Coach Moro’s former players. Head coach Bob London, longtime line coaching assistant to Moro, spoke of the caring side of his former colleague, illustrated by the story of his hiring in 1991. He told the packed house crowd that in the interview for the job, over lunch, Coach Moro never said a word about football. He wanted to know about London’s family.
Longtime assistant on the defensive side of the ball, Gary Williams, spoke of Moro’s football intellect, while reminiscing on the kids of team building activities the great coach instituted. He also spoke of the man’s competitive intensity, which was second to none.
Longtime assistant Gary Williams speaks at halftime during the ceremony. (Blue Ridge High School football)
Troy Rivers, a player who was on the varsity when Moro first reported for work as an assistant at Blue Ridge in 1979 spoke of being in the military overseas when John McCain came in for a surprise visit. McCain asked Rivers, halfway around the world, “So you’re from Blue Ridge? What is it with that football team winning every weekend?” Rivers replied, “One guy – Coach Paul Moro.”
Twenty-five year stadium announcer Clay Stidham reeled of a series of statistics compiled by Moro over his career at Blue Ridge. Playing in by far the most competitive conference at the 3A level, these are only a few of the most impressive numbers:
- 13 state championships
- 123 shutouts
- 63-game winning streak
- 10 undefeated seasons
- 21 conference championships
- 76 consecutive conference wins
- 93 consecutive regular season wins
- 27 consecutive playoff appearances
- National Coach of the Year – 2011
The unveiling of the new stadium sign was announced by Moro’s grandson, Elijah, and his granddaughter Aubrielle, followed by fireworks.
Blue Ridge won its home opener against Winslow, 41-21.