J.R. Moffatt
J.R. Moffatt
Four Indiana high school assistant coaches will receive special awards from the Indiana Basketball Association in 2020.
Hamilton Heights boys basketball assistant J.R. Moffatt, along with North Putnam girls basketball assistant Jim Brothers, Columbus North girls basketball assistant coach RaNae Isaak and Speedway boys basketball assistant Jim Merlie will receive Point Guard College Transformational Coach Awards as IBCA Assistant Coaches of the Year.
This is the fourth year for the PGC Transformation Coach Awards, which are presented to coaches who have impacted the lives of their players and fellow coaches at their school and within their community. The recipients are coaches who are respected by their players and fellow coaches for their dedication, positive approach and integrity on and o? the court. Point Guard College is a corporate partner of the IBCA.
These awards typically are presented during the IBCA's annual clinic during April, but this year's clinic has been postponed from the original April 24-25 dates. The coaches will receive the awards at a date to be determined.
J.R. Moffatt has been the freshman team coach and a boys basketball program assistant at Hamilton Heights High School for 31 seasons, long teaching the fundamentals of sports and life to help young student-athletes excel on the court, in the classroom and in the world.
“The impact that coach Mo?att has on his players extends way beyond the wins and losses on the court,” said Edgewood boys basketball coach Matt Wadsworth, who submitted the nomination for Moffatt for this award.
“Anyone who plays for coach Mo?att has a friend and mentor for life. Coach Mo?att is now at a stage in his career where he is coaching former players' sons. It would be very difficult to find a player who didn't enjoy playing for Coach Mo?att. He has used coaching as a way to instill the values needed to help boys grow into young men.’’
“Although he has the experience and ability to advance past the freshman level as a coach, he never has had a strong desire to move up. One reason for this is the importance he puts on the teaching of fundamentals. He feels it is important that one of the program's best coaches is at the freshman level in order to help develop skills. … He has always had the ability to challenge and push his players to improve. This is possible be each player knows how much he cares for them.”
Moffatt has worked with three varsity coaches during his time with the Huskies – Kirby Overman for two seasons, Bill Bowen for 16 seasons and Chad Ballenger for 13 seasons. Officially, he has been the freshman team coach while helping with the varsity and JV teams for all these years. Unofficially, he has been a mentor to the coaches, too.
“J.R.'s relationship with the coaches at Hamilton Heights is also important,” Wadsworth said. “J.R. was Bill Bowen’s next-door neighbor when Bill was the head coach. After a difficult loss or a bad day at practice, many conversations and words of encouragement were shared in Bill’s driveway.”
Hamilton Heights athletic director Kurt Ogden also is aware of Moffatt’s impact, noting that he also has served the community as a pastor at Arcadia Christian Church since 1987.
For Wadsworth, a North Daviess graduate who previously has coached at Riverton Parke (2007-08), North Posey (2008-12) and Whiteland (2012-19), Moffatt’s support has been personal.
“J.R. has served as a mentor and friend to my wife and me,” Wadsworth said. “He has been there to support and encourage me throughout my life and each step of my coaching career.
“One of the most difficult times of my life was when my wife had a miscarriage. The emotional support provided by J.R. was critical for helping my wife and me get through this time. In addition, he has traveled across the state to watch my teams play. Many times, he has shown up to offer encouragement when we were struggling.”
Moffatt has helped students and adults in times of need.
“Whenever a player loses a parent, J.R. is there to help counsel the player through the difficult time,” Wadsworth said. “Unfortunately, there have been times that it has been the other way around. When a former team manager passed away in a tragic accident, J.R. was there to help the parents overcome the grief they were experiencing. … I do not think that words can fully describe the impact that he has had on players, coaches and parents at Hamilton Heights.”
In addition to coaching basketball, Moffatt has coached baseball at Hamilton Heights. He was the Huskies’ varsity baseball coach in 2018 and 2019 after serving the two previous years as an assistant coach in that program.
Moffatt and his wife, Leigh Ann, live in Cicero. The couple has two children – Zac, 24, and Shanna, 18.