by John Goolsby
Brian Moore wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when he entered Shades Valley as a sophomore in the fall of 1985. He just knew he was going to a new school, a predominantly white one, that required an hour-long bus ride each way that passed five or six other high schools. Moore grew up in Roosevelt City and attended all-black schools up to that point. Going from A.G. Gaston to Valley was a significant change in Moore’s life.
Once at Shades Valley, Moore flourished and looks back on his time at Valley with fond memories. “My experience at Shades Valley was great. Everyone was accepting, and it was a lot of fun,” he said. “The coaches and teachers were great. Mrs. Hodges and Mrs. Davis were especially impactful,” he said. Anyone who knew “B.Moe” loved his infectious personality. “I had a lot of great friends there,” Moore said. Not surprisingly, he was named “Friendliest”’ his senior year. “My experience at Shades Valley taught me that people are people,” he added.
Moore was named “Friendliest” along with classmate Lisa Keene
While Moore was known as a nice guy off the field, he played football as his Mountie position coach, Danny Foster, asked him to play: as a “reckless abandon tackler. The “reckless abandon” mentality allowed him to become the Defensive MVP of the 1987 6A State Championship game and turn in an “MVP worthy” performance in the first-ever Alabama vs. Mississippi All-Star game in the summer of 1988. In that game, Moore had a crucial quarterback sack and fumble recovery, which led to the game-winning Alabama field goal in triple overtime. Moore ended the game with eight tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery.
Moore credits Head Coach Robert Higginbotham and Defensive Coordinator Owen Butts for his success in high school and helping to get him to the next level. “Coach Butts was also my basketball coach, and he really taught me to focus on the little things, the details. They help you do the big things better. I carried that with me to Samford,” he said.
Moore almost didn’t become a Bulldog. He was close to signing with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “I was set to sign with UTC. Their head coach, Buddy Nix, told me that I would come in, redshirt, and then get to play my second year,” he said.
Moore’s dominance during the Mounties’ 6A playoff run got the attention of Terry Bowden and Jimbo Fisher at Samford. Bowden would become the head coach of the Auburn Tigers a few years later. Jimbo Fisher is the current head coach of the Texas A&M Aggies. Moore first met the two coaches at the Birmingham Quarterback Club’s Awards Banquet. “They showed interest and started coming to see me at my basketball games,” Moore said.
Moore liked what he heard from Terry Bowden. “He told me that I would come in and have an opportunity to play at linebacker right away. As a player, that was a no-brainer,” Moore said. Samford seemed to be an excellent fit for Moore. “Beautiful campus, great academics, close to home, Christian school, and I could play early,” he said. A visit with a college football legend cemented his decision to attend Samford instead of UTC. During my recruitment, I went to a bank opening ceremony on Highway 280. I was sitting on a curb eating a hotdog, and Terry Bowden’s father, Coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State came over and sat down next to me on the curb and started talking to me about going to Samford.” Moore calls that experience surreal. “I was like, I am so going to Samford,” he said.
Moore often tells people that his college playing experience almost mirrors his experience at Shades Valley. “We weren’t very good our first two years but had a lot of success our last two…we were trailblazers that set the standard at both places,” Moore said. Moore says that Terry Bowden had a vision and laid out a plan. “Coach Bowden said we would win some games people wouldn’t expect us to win our first year, but we would play for the national championship our senior year,” he said. Samford went 5-6 in Moore’s first year while playing over twenty freshmen. The Bulldogs almost made it to the national championship game in Moore’s final season. The “road warriors,” as they were known, advanced to the semi-finals. Their incredible season came to an end in the freezing Ohio rain to eventual champion Youngstown State. That YSU team was coached by future Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressell. The Bulldogs finished with a 12-2 record, the most wins in school history.
During the Bulldog’s incredible run in the playoffs, Moore blocked a punt against New Hampshire for a safety and added another block against James Madison. “I blocked those punts because of what Coach Butts taught me at Shades Valley. He was so good at teaching us that,” he said. Because of his play in the playoffs, Moore was named Samford’s Special Team Player of the Year.
Moore graduated from Samford with a degree in Graphic Design. He was hired by a movie screen advertiser after graduation, and spent almost twenty years in that industry. If you saw a movie in a theatre anywhere in the southeast in the 1990s and 2000s, you will recall the trivia questions and advertisements that ran immediately before the upcoming movie previews. Moore was responsible for the majority of those. You probably got a glimpse of B.Moe on the screen, too.
Moore changed career directions after the ad agency he worked for was bought out. He went full-time with his T-Shirt printing business, BMoe Apparel, in 2009 and has seen it grow over the last 13 years.
Moore will celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary to Tara this August. They reside in Gardendale and have four boys: Jaxon, Xander, Kingston and Roman.
Please click on the links below to view his full product line and unique Shades Valley shirts.
2 thoughts on “Where Are They Now? Brian “B.Moe” Moore”
This was a very enjoyable morning read for me today! As he’s a younger “cousin” I can see that he has always made the entire family so proud of his achievements. Always striving and demonstrating a moral and loving presence.
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Great story & information on a wonderful young man. I have had the pleasure of knowing Brian from his Shades Valley HS Days, thru Samford til today as he is a wonderful husband, father & true asset to the Birmingham community. Wishing him all the best. Hogewood
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