The quote taken out of context is a bit condescending, but at the same time defines Ian Moses.
“Are you going to make him be good?”
When it was said, with a finger pointed right at Moses, it was a Friday night, the Mountain Pointe football program was rolling along, but one of the players – Thair Blakes – was hurt on what Moses thought was an illegal play and no penalty flag was thrown.
At least until Moses opened his mouth.
The Pride was flagged and penalized 15 yards after Moses, who had his final duties as Mountain Pointe’s athletic director after 12 years end with graduation on Thursday, let the referee crew know just how he felt.
“I felt that evening rather than letting the game play out on the field there was a bit of an effort to keep the game closer than it should have been,” said Moses, who will take over as activities director at Tempe High. “I don’t think everyone on that field was giving their best effort. It was extremely frustrating then when a kid I’ve grown close to has his knee ripped apart on a horse collar I reached my breaking point.
“I allowed my emotions get the best of me and acted unprofessionally. (The referee) pointed at us and asked (those around Moses) ‘Are you going to make him be good?’ I pointed at the guy (who missed the call) and said ‘Are you going to make him be good?’”
Out came the flag.
It is about the only time in 12 years that Moses hindered Mountain Pointe in any way.
“There is no doubt he would do anything for the kids and staff members at Mountain Pointe,” principal Bruce Kipper said. “He was not going to let (the incident) happen without letting them know it was wrong. He did the same thing up at Desert Mountain a few years ago. He is going to stand up for anyone affiliated with Mountain Pointe. Ian will always bleed maroon and gold.”
That’s because Moses believes in everyone who walks through the door at the institution where he has poured his whole being into.
In other words, he has spent his whole career answering the very same question that was asked of him on the sidelines in October.
Are you going to make him (or her) be good?
The answer invariably always comes back yes. He makes those are around him better.
“Moses loves Mountain Pointe with all his heart and it really shows,” junior baseball player Cole Tucker said. “He’s always interested and involved and there’s nothing more you can ask from an AD. He spends more time with us than he does his own wife and kids. The dedication he has to our school is something I’m extremely grateful for.”
Moses, who hired every coach on campus other than former volleyball coach Fred Mann, has seen the school change, grow and become a tight-knit family.
“That’s why it is so tough to leave,” said Moses, who was a history teacher before taking over as AD. “Some of the faces have changed but what goes on in between the walls has not. This little slice of Ahwautkee has stayed the same and I am proud to have been part of the development that has helped create the family atmosphere in all that we do.”
The face of the family just might be Moses.
“Ian has been an emotional inspiration for many of our student athletes at Mountain Pointe over the years,” Pride coach and former girls basketball coach Tony Ramseyer said. “After each game, win or lose, he is there either celebrating with the kids or giving them support after a loss. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, he was always visible to the kids and knew that the whole reason we are in this business is to support the kids first and make sure everything else came second.
“He has been a great athletic director and a good friend and I will truly miss working with him.”
While Moses was present afterward, that wasn’t always the case during. When the Pride had a big game there were times that he had to walk away because, you know, his presence had a direct effect on the game.
“My Dad would always ask me ‘How do you feel about the game today,’ ” Moses said. “Oddly enough, superstitious or not, I thought I had some cosmic formula to make good things happen. If I am watching a game some action I may do would affect the game. It’s silly because I would literally go and hide. The first couple of times I came back good things happened on the field and I convinced myself that I affected the game in a positive way.”
As Moses walks away this time, there is no convincing needed. He did everything he could to make Mountain Pointe be good.
“Mountain Pointe is going to miss him,” Kipper said. “His personality and approach can’t be matched. He was an institution here.”
Moses, who has a Dick Vermeil-esque ability to let his emotions overtake him, will never be able to talk about his time on Knox Road without a lip quivering.
“The thing I will remember the most doesn’t have anything to do with athletics,” he said. “It’s the relationships that I forged with the kids and colleagues and their families. Two former parents from kids who haven’t been enrolled in quite some time came in and said thanks. That makes you appreciate the time and effort spent. There will be new families and individuals at Tempe, but my heart will always be with Mountain Pointe.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.