Up Close and Personal with Dustin Moore

Up Close and Personal with Dustin Moore

Nov. 8, 2001

Dustin Moore began his first season as Santa Clara's second assistant volleyball coach in September. He shares in all responsibilities of the program and concentrates on scouting the team's opponents. Although Moore enters his first season as an assistant coach, he is not new to the program, serving as a volunteer assistant on Annie Feller's staff in 1997 and '98. He has maintained ties to the Mission campus by continuing to coach the program's summer camps.

Moore recently took some time to share his thoughts on a variety of topics, including his new daughter, Teagan Deborah.

Q: Tell me about the new addition to your family, Teagan Deborah.

A: She will be a month old on Saturday. It's been great. My wife's been doing most of the work, but Teagan sleeps a lot and hasn't been too fussy. The last couple of nights she's been sleeping for a good portion of the night. I can't complain. She's absolutely beautiful.

Q: What's the biggest challenge about being a parent, so far?

A: Just knowing that you are responsible for somebody else. Either Kim or myself have to be there 100 percent of the time. I think that is probably going to be the toughest thing for me is that I'm responsible for this person, this entity, I've never had that kind of responsibility before. I think that is going to be the hardest thing for me.

Q: We're you two prepared for the new arrival?

A: Yes, I would say that we were prepared, aside from my house not being ready, but it's shaping up now and we're kind of settling in to more of a comfort zone than we had before. I think it is definitely a little harder on Kim, because she is the one that does all the feedings and everything, right now... I'm sure my time will come, when I'm not getting any sleep, but so far it has been great. Can't complain.

Q: What was up with your house?

A: We're in the process of redoing hardwood floors, redid the carpet in the baby's room. The baby came two weeks early, so all the stuff that would have been done was right in the middle. There was no carpet in the baby's room, the hardwood floors had no finish on them, and all our furniture was in the garage, just in shambles. We've gotten it pretty much in order now, there's always something to do, but the major things are done, the baby's room is set up, we have new carpet, the floors are done, my furniture is back in. So, I'm happy with that.

Q: Is Teagan Deborah named after anyone in particular?

A: Well her first name we just kind of liked. I've known one other Teagan, it was an older sister of a girl that I coached. We don't know anyone else with that name, so we really liked that. Deborah is after my mom, who passed away two years ago. She had cancer and passed away, so I had to get that in.

Q: How did you got started in volleyball?

A: I first started playing with a friend of mine. We were in the seventh grade and we would play out on the black top. He actually taught me how to play and we would play two against six or eight, or however many they wanted to have on that side. Kind of kept going with that. Got into high school. I grew up in Santa Barbara, so there's a lot of beach volleyball there, and really got a passion for volleyball by going to the beach. My high school coach was great, he had a big influence on me. Santa Barbara's kind of a volleyball town, and we had a pretty good high school team. My high school coach ran beach camps for little kids and I started coaching there and helped him as an assistant when I was still in high school for the girl's team. I kind of just progressed from there. I went to Santa Barbara City College, and had a great team there and had a great experience. Actually, an ex-Santa Barbara person who was coaching at Menlo College at the time, came down there and recruited me to come up here and play. The rest is kind of history. I met Kim at Menlo. We're married and have a kid now, the whole coaching thing... It's been a slow process. I wasn't always sure that I wanted to coach, it was just something that I did because I enjoyed it. It turned out to be something I really, really loved. I'm pretty fortunate to be able to keep doing it. And Kim's been great. Coaches, as you know, don't make a whole lot of money and she's always been there and allowed me to do that. I'm pretty grateful to her for that.

Q: How did the two of you meet?

A: She played volleyball at Menlo and I played. It was just kind of one of those things. It wasn't a real big school, we knew the same people, had a lot of things in common, had the same major, same interests outside of volleyball, it just was a good fit.

Q: How long have you been married?

A: We've been married two years, last August. And we've been dating for, gosh, almost 10 years.

Q: How did you propose to her?

A: I proposed to her in Hawaii. We went out for another friend's wedding and she had no idea, it was a complete surprise. I had the ring shipped out to my other friend's mom's house and we went over there. There were probably about twenty-five friends of ours from here that went out to the wedding, made a big vacation out of it. We had dinner at my good friend's house and I did it in front of all those people. It was pretty cool.

Q: Sounds pretty romantic!

A: Oh, I don't know. I'm not much of a romantic guy. I guess I just had my one moment under the sun.

Q: What position did you play in volleyball?

A: I played a little bit of everything. I started out as a setter. I was a setter in high school. Then my first year at City College I was a defensive specialist. Then my second year I was an outside hitter. I went to Menlo College and I pretty much set, played outside and played a little bit of middle. So I played pretty much all the positions. I'm not a giant by any means, but I think it helped me to become a better coach, knowing and learning all the different positions, and knowing what it takes to be successful. Technically I had to be a little bit better than everybody else, because I was a little undersized. But, I played every position and just a lot of playing outdoors.

Q: What position did Kim play?

A: Kim was a middle blocker, undersized of course, and then she moved to the outside. She was an All-American for Division III at Menlo.

Q: What's your degree in?

A: I have a degree in mass-communications with an emphasis in advertising.

Q: Have you ever had a full-time job in that field?

A: Never. When I finished school at Menlo, a new coach came in for the women and I was her assistant and the year after that she left, so I took over as head coach. A coaching job just always kind of seemed to fall into my lap. I love volleyball so why not? From there I came to Santa Clara as a volunteer and I coached club for a number of years. When my mom got sick I kind of got out of it. I took a break from coaching for about a year. Then I got back into coaching high school last year and my team won state championship.

It's been really great. I can't complain. It's a natural progression, yet it didn't seem like I was ever really working that hard toward it. Looking back on it now, I can see that each little thing was kind of a stepping stone.

Q: Have you always coached girls?

A: I have coached both. When I was at the high school level I coached both girls and boys. I've coached boys club. I've coached girls club. I've coached little kid's camps. I've coached everything. I've coached adult classes. I worked at City Beach for a little while. I've coached all levels, all ages, both sexes, everything. If they want to learn, I'll teach them.

Q: What's the best part about coaching here at Santa Clara?

A: I love the level of play. I've coached at Menlo College, which is kind of a lower-level college. I've coached high school, I've coached middle school. And I just like the level of play. It's more what I'm into. I think I have a little bit more to offer to some of these girls who are at this level. I really enjoy the coaching staff, I think Jon and Katie are awesome to work with. They make it fun and they have a good time. The program is doing well, we are on the rise. We are going to be better next year than we are this year. Hopefully we can just continue to get better. Anytime you are apart of a winning program it makes it fun.

Q: Has traveling with this group of girls given you any insight on the female population?

A: To be honest, I just shy away from that stuff. There's things about women that I just don't really care to know about. But this group's a lot of fun. Just being around younger people keeps you young. I really enjoy it.

Q: I hear you're also an avid golfer. Tell me about that.

A: I am, but I'm not very good. I'm working at it. I've got a good friend that's a really good golfer. I've been trying to talk him into giving me some lessons. I'm at a point where I can't play volleyball at the level that I used to and golf is a sport that can mentally challenge me more than physically. It's something anybody can continue to play for a long time. I'm hoping I can get to that point where I can retire and play golf every day. A lot of my friends are also picking it up, and now that we're spread all over the place, it's something we can do while we're visiting each other. It's challenge. If people say it's easy, know that it's not. It's mentally demanding. You've got to be focused. I think that's the part I like the best.

Q: You're also quite the cribbage player?

A: Yeah, and Jon's way behind in our cribbage competition. I'm kind of crushing him. I won't give the exact score, but he knows.

Q: How did the rivalry start?

A: I always played with my mom and step dad. They loved it and got me hooked on it. I asked Jon one day if he played and ever since then, we play on the plane flights. It's great. It passes the time like you wouldn't believe. It's also an opportunity for us to talk a little trash and have a good time with it.

Q: How long is this competition?

A: It will probably continue on for as long as we work together. It's more for bragging rights. We've probably already played 30 games this season.

Q: What other sports do you enjoy?

A: I love to watch football. I love the Steelers.

Q: How did you become a Steelers fan?

A: I'm a Steeler fanatic, yes. I was born in Pittsburgh and lived there until I was about 7. Both of my parents' families are from the area and I just grew up being a fan. My daughter's going to be a Steelers' fan, even though her mom's going to try and make her a 49er's fan, she will be a Steeler fan.

Q: How did your family make the jump from Pittsburgh to Santa Barbara?

A: My dad thought California would be a better place for him to do his job. He had had a couple of good friends move out here in the mid-70s to Los Angeles. They were telling him how great and beautiful it was, so we just packed up the car and drove 3,000 miles. My aunt and uncle were actually living in Santa Barbara at the time, so we moved up there with them. The rest is history.

Q: Do you remember that trip at all?

A: Yeah, I do, parts of it. I remember stopping at the Four Corners. I remember stopping at the Grand Canyon, places like that. I also remember it being a really long trip. It probably wasn't as long as it seemed, but when you're seven... we packed up the ol' Pontiac, it was loaded to the T and moved out. In all honesty, and I don't know how it would have been if I had stayed, but I think the quality of life that I've been able to enjoy has been greater than if I wouldn't have moved. That's not a knock on the East Coast or anything, but I probably would have never played volleyball, I probably wouldn't be sitting here now. I'm grateful to my dad for moving us out here. The downside is we moved away from our families and we're not that close to them now.

Q: Have you been to a Steelers' game recently?

A: Yeah, I went and saw them play in San Diego last year, the last game of the season. I went and bought Direct TV specifically to get the Steelers games. Honestly. If you want to find me on a Sunday, I'm on my couch watching the Steelers. If I'm on the road, I'm trying to catch a score here and there, I watch the game at the airport in between flights. Or I'm on the phone trying to call somebody just to get an update. Everybody on the team laughs at me, but they just don't understand.

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