BOZEMAN — Saying it was “Enjoyable,” longtime Bridger coach Wayne Moorman confirmed on Thursday this would be his last state volleyball tournament.
A head coach for the Scouts since the mid-1980’s, Moorman said age and declining health were the primary factors behind his decision.
“I can’t jump and after I hit volleyballs at the girls, I need a bottle of Excedrin next to me,” said the 77-year-old Moorman in his typical self-deprecating sense of humor. He also had cataract surgery this past year.
“It’s time to move on.”
The low key Moorman guided Bridger to 10 Class C state championships. Never big on numbers, Moorman was unsure of his won-loss record.
“I try not to remember it,” he said. “You get bloated doing that. I don’t like to toot my own horn.”
Assistant coach Robin Smith estimated that Moorman’s teams won 750 matches during his career.
A former football coach for Roundup, he purchased a small ranch in Bridger. He balanced teaching and ranching most of his time. “My wife (Barb) took care of the lambing,” he said. Moorman originally had 320 acres and now ranches almost 2,000. They ran sheep and cattle at their place.
Coaxed into coaching volleyball at Bridger by oldest daughter Toni, he would eventually coach all four of his daughters — Marci, Heidi and Jodi are the other three — in volleyball.
Moorman was always a steady presence standing in front of the Bridger bench.
“He’s calm,” said current Joliet coach Colette Webber, who played for Moorman in the late 1980’s. “And he has a fatherly presence. He genuinely cares about the girl and they buy into that with him.”
Moorman and his wife plan to use the new free time to visit family and their 11 grandchildren.
“I am very appreciative of the opportunity I was given by the school and the town,” he said. “I would say this experience was enjoyable.”