Virginia Peninsula Community College named Alonzo Moore its track and field/cross country coach. The College is adding the sports for the 2023-24 academic year, with cross country starting in the fall.
Moore was a college athlete at the University of Wisconsin and has been involved in the sport on every level, but this is a new opportunity.
“I’ve never been a part of a program where I run the show,” Moore said.
He is a graduate of Phoebus High School and has been the Phantoms’ boys track coach since March 2019. He also was an assistant track coach at Hampton University in 2021-22, helping with the jumps and pole vault.
“Knowing that he’s run at the highest level and also has coached at the highest level, it’s going to be an instant impact,” said athletics director Chris Moore (no relation).
First on Alonzo’s to-do list is organization of the three seasons. Following cross country will be the indoor season in the winter and the outdoor season in the spring.
“I’m talking with some other coaches trying to figure out what they have done,” he said. “Just getting input from other coaches and from there I’ll try to build off of that and see what will be the best route for me.”
The Peninsula and Virginia Beach areas offer numerous opportunities to participate in events without having to travel far.
His experience as a college athlete showed him how important it is to have a support system, and not just for athletics. He said academics were hard for him, but his coaches stressed his schoolwork came first.
“I’ve always had coaches making sure I address my academics,” he said. “That was key, having coaches that cared about me as a person and wanted the best for me.”
He plans to do the same for his athletes.
“(Academics) is important to them, whether they think so or not,” he said.
Alonzo has a sociology degree from the University of Wisconsin (2006), where he competed in indoor and outdoor track and field as well as cross country. He was a three-time All-American and a three-time Big Ten Conference champion in the triple jump. He competed in numerous pro events from 2006-12 for the Human Performance Consulting (HPC) Elite team.
In 2008, he reached the finals of the triple jump at the Olympic Trails, finishing 11th. In 2009, he placed third at the Indoor USA Championship.
Chris Moore said all athletes at the College will benefit from this hire.
“With his versatile talents, I think that he’s going to be able to walk in and impact our entire athletic department,” Chris Moore said of Alonzo.
The College also is adding men’s soccer to its list of intercollegiate sports for the 2023-24 academic year. Kevin Darcy recently was named the head coach. Women’s volleyball and softball were added for the 2022-23 academic year. With the additions, the College will sponsor seven sports, already having men’s and women’s basketball and baseball. Two more will be added for the 2024-25 year, completing the College’s expansion from three teams to nine in a three-year span. The final two sports have not been decided yet.