The Celina athletic program has a history of greatness. Celina has produced some incredible athletes, many of whom have gone on to play collegiate and professional sports. In some cases, those athletes find their way back home to keep the Bobcat spirit alive.
Timmy Moore grew up in Celina, graduating from Celina High School in 1978 with only about 30 others in his graduating class. While in high school, Moore found a passion in running distance races. After graduation he attended the University of Central Oklahoma. Knowing his parents could not afford to send him to school, he had to rely on scholarships, summer jobs and even kept a job year round while attending college. Moore saved up enough money to buy a brand new pickup truck while in college. Upon graduation, Moore had zero student loans and a fully paid off truck. He was well on his way.
“I was finished with school and knew I wanted to be a coach so I came back to Celina, that’s just what seemed natural,” said Moore.
After his first year of student teaching, Moore was having second thoughts.
“I decided to work in a lead plant in Frisco, I just wasn’t sure I was supposed to be teaching,” he said. “But after a little over a year of that, I knew I certainly didn’t want to do that and I really missed teaching.”
In 1986, Moore began teaching junior high science and PE in what is now the Celina Administration building. Moore has worked with a number of principals, superintendents and other teaching staff in the 32 years with Celina ISD. As a coach, it is extremely rare to stay in one district for as long as he has but Moore doesn’t miss a beat when someone asks him “Why?”
“This is Celina. People beat down the door to get in here. Why would I leave?”
One of Moore’s first students, Chad Roberts, recalls a 7th grade district track meet where Moore gave him some sound advice.
“I was to run the 3200 meter event. I followed ‘T-Mo’ around asking him what I needed to do to get ready. I guess to get rid of me he told to go lay down by the bus and drink plenty of Gatorade. I kept asking him how much to drink and he finally said, ‘until you can here it sloshing around in your belly.’ So I ran the race and left the Gatorade the best I could on the infield the last 200 meters of the race,” laughed Roberts.
Toby Arnold was friends with Roberts. Arnold remembered Moore running around town even before he was his coach.
“He ran shirtless and I’ve never seen so much chest hair in my life. I thought he was a werewolf,” he said.
Moore remembers both Roberts and Arnold with a smile.
“I’ve had some great kids…some really great kids come through these doors,” said Moore. “I truly can’t pinpoint one class, one story or one situation. I have really been blessed here with an incredible life.
Moore and his wife, Paula, have 3 children; Madi, Mallory and Carter. Paula has worked for Celina ISD for over 25 years but isn’t retiring quite yet.
“I can’t ever sit still so I have my projects. I have been rehabing houses. It’s a lot of work but it will keep me busy,” said Moore.
Moore sat back in his chair and got a little quiet as he thought about his retirement.
He said, “It’s the last day of school and there are some of these kids I might not ever see again, not like this. That makes me sad. But I will still be around. You can count on that. This is home.”