Moore Brings Winning Ways to FAMU Track and Field
By Andrew J. Mitchell Jr.
[dropcaps]Darlene Moore, the women’s track and field coach at Florida A&M University, sure knows how to win.[/dropcaps]
Just two week ago, she added the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference outdoor track and field championship to her ever growing list of major titles since coming to FAMU in 2009. This weekend, Moore and the rattlers will compete in the NCAA regionals
It’s a tall order but Moore is confident with her former protégé, Tiffiny Morrow. Morrow was a junior in 2009 when Moore was hired.Morrow found that Moore’s world was a different world.
“When we came out to practice, it was just like it was when I was in high school,” Morrow said. “It was like come to practice, do a couple stretches and go to the track meets and we weren’t taken serious.”
Morrow didn’t understand why her father was excited when she got a scholarship to run track at the university. She didn’t know about the rich history of FAMU’s track and field. Morrow only knew what she was witnessing.
But a phone call in 2009 would change all of what she witnessed before her junior year. Moore called Morrow when she got the job and asked for her blessing to be her coach. Morrow knew at that point that Moore had a good heart.
She bought into whatever she was told and understood that Moore wanted to really build the program. Since then, she has seen the program evolve. She is now an assistant coach with Moore.
Morrow remembered the first conference championship meet under Moore where FAMU scored only a quarter of a point. Six years later, the Rattlers won the conference title with 111 points.
Moore loves being the underdog and Morrow knows why.
“It’s the element of surprise,” Morrow said.
Moore took over a program just like FAMU in her previous job. Fort Valley State was a last-place program she turned into a champion.
“I enjoy building things,” Moore said. “I like being the underdog. When I was afforded the opportunity here at Florida A&M University to do the same thing – of course I jumped at the chance.”
Morrow and Moore both agreed on one constant theme about the past six years. Track and field at Florida A&M is a program and not just a team.
Morrow believes the girls this year had a fight and pride about them. Moore recruited girls that were highly recruited by other universities and instilled a high level of confidence.
“They believe in themselves,” Morrow said. “They work hard and they have a great work effort. This was a special kind of group because these girls had outstanding athleticism and academics.”
Moore will add eight to 10 more young ladies to the team in the fall. She is looking forward to continuing the success and establishing dominance in the MEAC.