Article reposted from The Joplin Globe
Author: Jim Henry
Tuesday was filled with sadness around the Missouri Southern athletics department.
“Walking in the doors was a little tougher today than it has been the last year and a half,” said Amanda Wolf, MSSU assistant athletic trainer.
Darin Moore, former head athletic trainer at Missouri Southern, died Monday after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 48.
Moore came to Missouri Southern in 2001 as an assistant trainer, and he was promoted to head trainer in January 2003. He served in that role until taking a leave of absence last year.
“There are a lot of things I’ve come across and thought of,” Wolf said. “The thing I will miss the most … I worked with him for 12 years, so I used to joke with somebody that I have Kyle, who is my husband at home, but it’s kind of like you have a work spouse. There were many days I spent more time with Darin than I do with my family.
“We would talk about sports; we would talk about our athletes and how we’re doing. We would talk about our kids and our families and vacations. There are times he would come in and prop his feet up on my desk and we would chat. Sometimes we would just sit there … you don’t find that very often any more, and to find that in somebody you work with on a daily basis, it was a relationship we had for 12 years. That’s what I miss, and I missed that last year, too.”
Moore, a diehard Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians fan, treated thousands of student-athletes during his tenure at Missouri Southern, but he also was important to them in so many other ways.
“Somebody said he was like the uncle that you could always talk to.” Wolf said. “You could talk to him about your injury. You could talk to him about other stuff. Somebody said it’s amazing how you would tell him things that you didn’t think you wanted to tell anybody, but you really needed to get that off your chest and talk about it. He was the one they could do that with.”
Tributes to Moore began appearing Monday night on social media. Some examples:
Justin Maskus, MSSU sports information director: “One of the first people I met when I started working at Southern was Darin Moore. One of the smartest, funniest and kindest people I knew. … Our conversations were always one that I looked forward to as a way to escape the normal day-to-day stuff that went on in my job, and I always got a bit of insight with what was going on with our athletes as he seemed to always have the info. Darin was more than a trainer to our student-athletes. To all he was a friend, to some he was a father-figure, to others he was that go-to guy. I know he’s in a better place now. Gonna miss ya D.”
Roger Doman, Freeman Health System: “(Monday) we lost a good man. You may be gone but never forgotten. I will be forever grateful for all you have taught me Darin Moore … not just as an athletic trainer but how to be a better me. You touched a lot of lives in many different ways and we are all better because if it. Love and miss you already bro.”
Nathan Price, former MSSU football player: “RIP D. I’m thankful that my crappy shoulders allowed us to get to know each other so well. You will be missed.”
Landon Zerkel, former MSSU fooball and basketball player: “There were a lot of unsung heroes in athletics at MOSO for our guys/girls and Darin Moore was much more than that. The Missouri Southern athletic program will never be the same without him. He was there for every injury and/or anytime anybody needed to sit down and just talk things out. It was an honor to be on the sideline of the football field or basketball court with such a high caliber person. Thanks for everything Darin. You will always be remembered.”
Three months ago, the MSSU athletics department announced a scholarship endowment in Moore’s name and named the exam room in the Freeman Athletic Training Center after him.
“Darin Moore was a great man, a great friend and a great Lion,” MSSU president Alan Marble said in a release, recalling that Moore was the first person to welcome him to campus. “His passing will leave a void that can never be filled, but his positive impact will leave an indelible mark that will never be matched.”
Services for Darin Moore will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Hope City Church in Joplin. Visitation begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the church. Memorial donations can be made to the Darin Moore Athletic Training Endowment or to a college scholarship fund for his daughter, Ella.