Michael Moore Sr. told me this morning that he didn’t know whether the 89-year-old Oakland Athletic League would have fizzled if it continued without a full-time commissioner. But, he said, “I didn’t want to leave it to chance.”
A year after OAL’s last commissioner retired, Roberta Mayor, Oakland’s new interim superintendent, announced this morning that she had named Moore, a district administrator, to the post.
Jerry Luzar, the previous commissioner, stepped down in 2007 after 12 years. The Oakland league — which has its own high school section, the smallest in the state — struggled last year without someone in charge. Many worried that the Oakland Section, and eventually the league, itself, would dissolve.
In comes Moore, a 28-year district employee and a 1975 graduate of Oakland High School.
Moore is relatively new to the sports scene (although he did play football in high school), but he has served in countless capacities over the years, from history teacher to an operations officer overseeing purchasing and other contracts.
Most recently, Moore was a Senior Change Officer working on the Expect Success reform initiatives (for which the foundation money is drying up). If you’ve ever been to a school board meeting, you’ve probably passed him on your way in. He usually sits in a wheelchair at the top of the steps.
In a district with such high turnover, Moore has shown some serious staying power. He also manages to keep a positive outlook — at least, in front of me. In his new role, he says he’s going to try to expand the district’s athletic programs, even as district funding shrinks, by leveraging community support.
Moore also says he wants Oakland to have more evening games so that more people can attend, and to hold some events in larger venues.
“The league has so much potential and so much history,” Moore said.
Moore says he’ll spend the next month or two “collecting ideas” from Luzar and others about OAL’s future. Since I know he reads this blog from time to time, what are yours?