There was no grand epiphany, sudden realization or aha moment.
No, Steve Moyer simply decided it was time. And with that, the Upper Perkiomen head football coach determined that this past season would be his last.
Moyer, who was hired as the head coach starting with the 2012 season, informed the team of his decision after its last game of the 2013 campaign. He previously coached the Indians from 1986-1998. His first 12-year run included a Pioneer Athletic Conference title in 1997, and a pair of District 1-AAA playoff appearances in ’96 and ’97.
His second time around, at least statistically speaking, wasn’t as successful. The 2012 squad competed, but did not win a game, while this year’s team finished with a 1-9 overall record. That one victory, a 37-14 win over Pope John Paul II, was memorable for a number of reasons. First, the 532 rushing yards the Indians piled up proved to be a new school record, as well as the 638 total yards of offense. Senior running back Aidan Schaffer also set a new school record of 392 rushing yards (second best in PAC-10 history) and 36 individual points.
“It was close to the end of this season, and I looked where we had gotten to and planned to be, and it was such a battle to get where we were,” Moyer said. “It just seemed like it was time to turn it over so someone can run with it and get it going.
“After the wear and tear of 42 years of coaching, you get to the point where you say it’s time. Time to move on and go from there.”
Moyer admitted handing in his resignation wasn’t easy. Born and raised here, he was a star athlete at Upper Perkiomen High School, earning nine varsity letters in football, baseball, basketball and track and he won the school’s scholar athlete award in 1968. As a junior, he was a standout running back who helped lead the Indians to a Bux-Mont title in 1966.
“When I turned my resignation in, I said I how thankful I was to them for hiring me,” Moyer said. “I am thankful for a lot of good years: as a student-athlete, teacher and coach. That’s my alma mater, and it’s time for someone else to run with it.”
After high school, and after entertaining offers from Penn State, Duke, Virginia and Iowa State, Moyer attended Pittsburgh University, where he had a stellar career, finishing with the school’s career record for pass receptions at 116. He just missed the single season record as a freshman by two receptions.
Moyer later coached at Kutztown University for 10 years, then came back as part of Keith Leamer’s staff for the Tribe in ’09-’10.
Moyer said one of the biggest challenges facing the incoming coach will be the structure of the Pioneer Athletic Conference. Originally organized as the PAC-8, the intent of the league was to better suit smaller schools that struggled in the Ches-Mont and Bux-Mont. Currently, nearly half of the teams are at the AAAA level, and there is a growing disparity between the AAA schools (like Upper Perk and Phoenixville), he said.
Now officially retired, Moyer said his goal is to take a vacation in August. With his coaching and playing years figured in, Moyer said it’s a luxury he hasn’t had in almost 50 years.
“Sometimes when you look back, after that many years you figure out when time it’s time to do something else. And I just realized now might be the time. I had a heck of a lot of good years, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”