A former student-athlete on one of the most successful tennis teams ever at Northeast Mississippi Community College is set to take over the reins at his alma mater.
Stewart Moore, who holds a wealth of knowledge in the sport after years of experience, has been selected as the new head coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Northeast.
Moore replaces Ben Shappley, who served four years as headman of the Lady Tigers and Tigers. He remains with the institution as the new director of Northeast’s Corinth campus.
“When coach Shappley accepted his new position, we did not have to go far to find his replacement,” said Northeast athletic director Kent Farris. “Stewart was a natural choice and we are confident that he will continue building our tennis programs.”
Moore opened his career on the courts as a member of the varsity squad at Booneville High School as just a seventh grader. His stellar performance over six seasons with the Blue Devils spotted the eye of legendary Northeast coach Millard Lothenore.
Lothenore signed Moore to a scholarship and saw immediate improvements as a result. The Tigers won three of their final five matches during his freshman campaign in 1994.
Northeast started its nice stretch with Moore on its roster with a 7-1 triumph over Garland County (Ark.) Community College, which is now known as National Park College. The Tigers went on to pick up victories against Holmes Community College and Meridian Community College as well.
Moore led Northeast to a sensational season as a sophomore in 1995 that featured nine wins compared to only four losses. The Tigers again completed that year on a hot streak with six victories in their last seven contests.
Among the highlights of that campaign for Moore was a sweep of the annual two-match series with rivals Itawamba Community College and Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Moore and the Tigers also collected decisive triumphs that year over Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Southwest Mississippi Community College, Holmes and Meridian.
He wrapped up his playing career by appearing in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Tournament. Moore and two other teammates advanced all the way to the semifinal round before being eliminated.
“I’m pretty excited about this,” Moore said. “I’ve played tennis all my life. This is a good opportunity for myself to give back. We’re going to go hard at it in practice and be ready to go on game day.”
Moore noted that he plans to take some of the characteristics and tendencies that Lothenore utilized and use them himself throughout his tenure as the director of the Lady Tigers and Tigers.
“There are several things that coach Lothenore taught us,” he said. “You probably can’t pick just one. He was just a professional in the way he conducted himself and hopefully I can exude that to my players as well.”
Northeast’s netters have captured multiple awards over the last several seasons. Both squads have achieved All-Academic Team status from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for three consecutive years.
The Lady Tigers and Tigers have also received 19 individual accolades in that same span from either the ITA, MACJC or NJCAA for the scholastic endeavors of their student-athletes.
Moore, who is also a civil engineering technology instructor at Northeast, gained his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University. He and his wife Jennifer have two children, Cooper and Hudson.
CUTLINE – Head shot of Stewart Moore, who has been named Northeast Mississippi Community College’s men’s and women’s tennis coach beginning with the 2017 campaign. (PHOTO: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)