Carroll County boys varsity basketball head coach Jonathan Moore with returning starters Keishaun Mumphrey and Wyatt Supplee after bring introduced as their new coach Wednesday. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Carroll County boys varsity basketball head coach Jonathan Moore with returning starters Keishaun Mumphrey and Wyatt Supplee after bring introduced as their new coach Wednesday. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
If Paul Stone had any doubt about whether Jon Moore was the right fit for his boys basketball team, they were erased when Rick Stansbury gave him a call.

“I got this call and I was like, ‘Nashville? Who is this?’ I answered the phone and this guy goes ‘Coach? Rick Stansbury. I heard that you’re considering Jon Moore for your coaching position and I wanted to tell you that I’ve watched him and he’s the right man for the job,’” Stone recalled on Wednesday. “That gets your attention right away.”

Even without approval from Western Kentucky University’s men’s head basketball coach, Stone had liked what he saw in Moore and on Wednesday the school officially introduced Moore as the school’s new head boys basketball coach.

Carroll County will be the 35-year-old Moore’s first head-coaching job but he comes to the school with an impressive resumé — even without Stansbury’s personal reference.

“I’ve been an assistant at some programs for the past several years and I’ve had some success. It was always something that I wanted to do, being a head coach, but I didn’t want to handcuff myself to saying that I was just a head coach. I wanted to get into a situation where I felt like I could work with and do good with and felt like with what we’ve got back (at Carroll), it’s a great situation,” said Moore, who was accompanied by his fiancée Kelly. “I think it’s the perfect storm. I’ve got some talent back. I have high expectations. I’m looking forward to it. I’m ready to go.”

“We’re real excited about coach Moore. He brings a wealth of experience. He’s been in big games and he’s coached in big games and he’s led a successful AAU program,” Stone said. “He’s not been a head coach but he’s ready. His interview was outstanding. He was very prepared and he brought his practice schedule and how he plans things. He was very impressive.”

Moore graduated at Franklin County High School in Frankfort in 2002 before heading to Western Kentucky University where he served on the scout team for the Hilltoppers’ women’s program.

After graduation from WKU, Moore began his coaching career, first as a coach at Greenup County Middle School, then later back to Franklin County as an assistant. When Franklin coach Scott Chalk got the head job at Paul Laurence Dunbar in Lexington, Moore went with him and served as associate head coach for five years. While at Dunbar, the Bulldogs won the 2016 KHSAA state championship and Moore served as an assistant on the Kentucky All-Star team.

It was while he was at Dunbar that Moore got to know Stansbury. The former Mississippi State head coach was heavily recruiting Dunbar’s Taveion Hollingsworth — who would later be named Mr. Basketball — and the two coaches became close.

“Coach has done a lot for me. He’s a guy that I can pick up my phone and call him anytime if I have a question about anything and he’s going to answer,” Moore said. “Taveion and me have a great relationship, it’s almost like a little brother. They go through me for a lot of stuff and he has two younger brothers that I still stay in contact with. Rick has been great. He called me yesterday and congratulated me on getting the job. And he told me his famous quote that ‘you’ll be a better coach if you get some players.’ He and coach Chalk and Josh (Cook) at Clark County are guys that I trust and I know that they will be there for me.”

Moore has spent the past two years as an assistant coach in Clark County at George Rogers Clark High School where he got a chance to return to the classroom. But he had his eye on head-coaching jobs and when the Carroll position opened earlier this month after the resignation of Brian Crank, Moore jumped on it.

“I told them in my interview that at the time, there were 39 jobs posted on KHSAA.com and I had applied for two. One was Paducah Tilghman, which I didn’t even get an interview and I wasn’t expecting to get one, but you shoot for the moon and it’s a great program,” said Moore, whose great-grandparents were from Carroll County and he remembered visiting as a young boy. “The only other one I applied for was Carroll. I didn’t apply to schools that were closer to us and that’s because we’ve got a chance to be special here. I was all-in from the moment it came open.”

What excited Moore most about Carroll County is that unlike some other jobs, this one will not be a rebuilding effort. The Panthers return three starters from a team that went 12-13 a year ago, including leading scorers Wyatt Supplee and Keishaun Mumphrey, who averaged 23.9 and 14.4 points per game, respectively.

“I know that Keishaun Mumphrey and Wyatt Supplee are good players and they put up good numbers last year. They obviously have high expectations from people in the area and even higher ones from me,” Moore said. “I know that I’ve got a good group back. I know that we can play with anybody in this area. I’ve looked into where we’ve been and I know we haven’t been in the region since ’06 and I know we haven’t won the All ‘A’ in a while, and those are two of my goals. I don’t want to just get to the region, I want to win the district tournament and get in as a one seed.

Moore plans on going to work right away and wants to hold an open gym later this week. Next month he plans to take the team to WKU’s team camp and he can’t wait to get started.

“I told Wyatt and Mumphrey that it starts and ends with them. You can come in here and be a knucklehead and say, ‘It was good. I put up some numbers but we didn’t win anything,’” Moore said. “I think they get it. I think it will be a good time and I’ll get to know them and they’ll get to know me and I think they’ll enjoy it.”