Gideon Mooring is on the move and to a place that's awful familiar.
Mooring has stepped down as the Head Basketball Coach at Gloucester High School, where he helped make the Dukes much more competitive than they had previously been, to take the same position at Warwick High School, his alma mater, in Newport News.
"It's a bittersweet feeling. I can't thank Kristy Hunter, the administration and the support staff at Gloucester High School enough. I feel like we started to get things on the right track and am going to miss the people over there. But I'm excited about this opportunity to come back home to Warwick and really looking forward to the challenge," Mooring told VirginiaPreps.com.
Born in Robbinsville, North Carolina, Mooring graduated from Warwick in 1991 and played a key role on a pair of Raiders teams that made back-to-back appearances in the Eastern Region Tournament. Those Warwick squads, under the direction of Ben Moore (now the Head Coach at Menchville HS in Newport News) were eliminated both times by eventual State Champ Bayside, but won 38 of 52 games over that two-year stretch.
At Warwick, Mooring replaces Jimmie Gerald, who went 11-33 overall in two seasons at the helm. The Raiders are coming off a 1-21 campaign in which their season came to a close in a lopsided 81-18 loss to Hampton in the PenSouth Conference 10 Tournament quarterfinals.
Mooring becomes the sixth Head Coach in the past eight years for a Warwick program that hasn't had a whole lot of success lately. In fact, the Raiders have posted just one winning record - finishing 13-12 overall in 2013-14 - over the last nine seasons.
In four years as the Head Coach at Gloucester, Mooring compiled a record of 21-67. That may not seem like much, but considering the Dukes were 0-22 in the season prior to his arrival and went 8-14 this past year, significant progress was made.
During the PenSouth Conference Tournament, Mooring's Dukes rallied from 17 points down to defeat Nansemond River 75-66 in the quarterfinals. They were ousted in the semifinals by 5A State Tournament runner-up Bethel, 64-49.
Gloucester hasn't had a winning record since 1996-97 when the Dukes finished 11-10 overall under David Six, currently the Head Coach of a Hampton University Women's Basketball team that reached the NCAA Tournament back in March.
Mooring went to Thomas Nelson Community and played semi-pro football for 10 years. He's also planning to be a varsity assistant football coach with the Raiders in 2017.
Tuck Steps Down at William Byrd:
Kevin Tuck has decided to step down at William Byrd, both as the Head Boys Basketball Coach and Head Golf Coach.
Tuck, 39, graduated from the school in 1995 and posted a career record of 113-69 in seven seasons as Head Basketball Coach. His team went 16-10 overall this past season, losing to John Handley 53-43 in the 4A-West Region Tournament quarterfinals.
The Terriers made the State Tournament twice under Tuck, doing so in 2011 and 2016. They saw their quest for a state title end both times in the quarterfinal round, falling to 4A-East Region Champion Lake Taylor 78-55 at ODU in '16 to cap a 20-8 campaign.
Byrd also won 20-plus games under Tuck as recently 2014-15 when the squad finished 21-5 overall, losing to Spotswood 72-60 in the regional semifinals in 3A-West.
Leading scorer and rebounder Devon Kasey, a 6'3" forward that put up 14.5 points and 7.9 boards a game, graduates. However, Byrd is slated to return its second leading scorer and second leading rebounder in 6'4" wing Alex Fitch, a Class of 2019 prospect that averaged 13.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while connecting on a team-best 68 three-pointers.
Axselle Returns to Coaching at Atlee:
Atlee has hired Rally Axselle as its new Head Basketball Coach.
Axselle is a veteran of the coaching scene, having coached on the college level at Hampden-Sydney as an assistant. He also was the Head Coach at Deep Run from 2008-10 and served as varsity assistant at Mills Godwin from 2002-08.
At Atlee, Axselle replaces Phil Reynolds, who was the Head Coach for the past 11 seasons. The Raiders were beaten by fourth-seeded Orange, 53-47, in the quarterfinals of the Conference 16 Tournament. The finished 4-19 overall.
Only one player - freshman Tyler Warren (10.9PPG) - averaged in double-figures in points for the Raiders a season ago. He's one of eight varsity players from last season's squad expected to return for Axselle next winter.
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