Former Notre Dame assistant Wally Moore dies

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

Walter A. “Wally” Moore, a coaching icon at South Bend St. Joseph High School five decades ago and an assistant coach for nine seasons on Ara Parseghian’s University of Notre Dame football team from 1966-74, died Saturday. He was 90.

Born in La Porte, Ind., he attended the former Central Catholic High School in South Bend. Moore is survived by his wife Margaret and five children — Monica, Ramona, Robin, Terry and Tony.

Fifty years ago, Moore led St. Joe to its first state championship. The 1964 title was the first ever won by a Catholic school in football in Indiana.

Two years later, Parseghian plucked Moore to join him in the collegiate ranks. Moore shared the offensive line coaching duties with fellow assistant Brian Boulac from 1970 through 1974.

During that period Notre Dame never averaged less than 232.1 rushing yards per game, including an all-time Irish record 350.2 per game in Notre Dame’s 1973 national championship season. The Irish ranked sixth nationally in rushing in ’73 and fourth in 1972 with an average of 304.3 yards per contest.

Moore served as Notre Dame’s assistant offensive line coach for one season in 1969 after two years as the Irish freshman coach in 1966, 1967 and 1968. His Irish freshman squads won five combined games in those three seasons (against one tie), defeating Michigan State and Pittsburgh twice each and Tennessee once.

Moore was a staff member on Irish squads that three times knocked off No. 1-ranked opponents in bowl games — Texas following the 1970 season and Alabama following both the 1973 and 1074 seasons. During the five years Moore directed the offensive line, the Irish finished a combined 55-10-1.

After Parseghian’s final season at Notre Dame in 1974, Moore became the offensive line coach in 1975 and 1976 on Lee Corso’s staff at Indiana University. He spent two additional seasons as an Indiana associate athletic director, later served as a scout for the NFL Denver Broncos and worked for Ara Parseghian Enterprises in South Bend.

He began his coaching career at St. John’s High School (1956) and Marion Township High School (1957-58), both in Maria Stein, Ohio. He became head coach at St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend, holding that position from 1959 through 1965.

He finished with a 48-15-4 record including four straight seasons (1961-64) in which the Indians ended up among the final top 10 in high school poll rankings. His 9-0-1 1964 St. Joseph’s team won the mythical Indiana state title and he was named Indiana high school coach of the year. He was the national high school coach of the year in 1963.

Moore is a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame and the St. Joseph’s College Hall of Fame. The Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded him an honorary monogram in 1997. In 1993, the Moose Krause chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame presented him with its Contributions to Football award.

A 1949 graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., Moore earned a master’s degree from Indiana University. He won letters in football and baseball at St. Joseph’s. He was a second-team all-Midlands Conference pick and led the team in rushing twice. He also served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Margaret and Wally Moore continued to be big fans of Notre Dame long after Wally Moore was no longer an assistant football coach at the school. He died Saturday at age 90. (SBT File Photo)