PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Maurice Moody knows a thing or two about turning around a program. In his seven seasons at Little Rock McClellan, he turned a 1-9 team into a two-time class 5A runner-up. Hired last December as head coach at Watson Chapel, Moody starts spring ball with the intent of rebuilding the Wildcats after they finished 0-8 last fall.

“We don’t worry about what happened in the past, we’re moving forward,” Moody said. “We’re creating a culture of winning and a culture of success by doing things the right way.”

With time at Blytheville, West Memphis, Earle, and McClellan under his belt, Moody joins Watson Chapel after a two-year stay as head coach at Jacksonville. He’ll look to take from his experience around Arkansas to bring the Wildcats back to contention.

“We came in and started building relationships from day one,” Moody said. “Kids nowadays with social media do their background check. So they already knew about me and it made this transition smooth.”

An Earle native, Moody moving to Pine Bluff and taking on a new challenge has brought him unexpected comfort after the loss of his mother.

“They’ve welcomed me with open arms here,” Moody said. “During the time I took this job, my mom had passed a week earlier. So I was down in the slumps, mentally I wasn’t there… This made me feel like I was at home and at peace with my decision.”

Catch Nick Walters’ feature on Maurice Moody and Watson Chapel football this Sunday night at 10 on Final Score.