Doug Moe happens to be one of the most colorful, most quotable figures in NBA history.
He also happens to be a pal of Kansas University menÃ¢ÂÂs basketball coach Roy Williams and the father of Emporia State coach David Moe, who brings his second ESU team to Allen Fieldhouse tonight.
Tipoff for the battle between NCAA Division I and II teams is 7 p.m. with a live telecast on channels 13 and 38 (C15).
Ã¢ÂÂDoug Moe is one of my heroes. In coaching there is always one former player who can break you up, no matter the situation. For me itÃ¢ÂÂs somebody like Scot Pollard. For coach Smith, itÃ¢ÂÂs Doug,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said of North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith, who assisted Frank McGuire in 1959-61, when Doug Moe played for UNC.
Ã¢ÂÂI have seen Doug Moe kiss coach Smith on the head. I have seen him sit on coach SmithÃ¢ÂÂs lap. IÃ¢ÂÂve heard Doug call him Ã¢ÂÂ'El Deano.Ã¢ÂÂ Not many people can do that,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams added with a laugh.
The 64-year-old Doug Moe, the winningest coach in Denver Nuggets history and current Nuggets coaching consultant, is not a member of SmithÃ¢ÂÂs Carolina coaching tree.
But he has always been close to his former coach and the Tar Heel program. So naturally he has a close relationship with 1972 UNC graduate Williams, who has known Doug and David Moe a long, long time.
Ã¢ÂÂI wonÃ¢ÂÂt say IÃ¢ÂÂve known coach Williams all my life, but at least 25 years,Ã¢ÂÂ David Moe, 37, said of the 52-year-old man heÃ¢ÂÂll coach against tonight.
Ã¢ÂÂBack when he was a high school coach in North Carolina, he worked CarolinaÃ¢ÂÂs camp and I was in his gym when he was running the gym. I remember coach Williams well. HeÃ¢ÂÂs one of those guys who has always had a presence about him.
Ã¢ÂÂHe had it back then. He had it when he went to work for coach Smith and heÃ¢ÂÂs had it at Kansas where heÃ¢ÂÂs built one of the great programs in the country.Ã¢ÂÂ
David Moe, who has directed E-State to a 4-3 record this year after a 7-19 debut last season, speaks in glowing terms about Williams, who handed Moe 17 straight losses from 1993-2001 when the ESU coach toiled as assistant at Colorado.
Ã¢ÂÂBeing around coach Smith and coach Williams during the summers are occasions invaluable to me,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said. Ã¢ÂÂWhen I was at Colorado, weÃ¢ÂÂd talk before the games.
Ã¢ÂÂThere are four people I respect in this profession, ones at the top of my list Ã¢ÂÂ:quot; Dean Smith, Larry Brown, my father and coach Williams. It doesnÃ¢ÂÂt mean I am as good a coach as they are, but I can be as good a person,Ã¢ÂÂ David Moe added.
Moe actually worked for Brown during the 1987-88 season Ã¢ÂÂ:quot; the last national championship season at KU.
Ã¢ÂÂIt was one of the best years of my life from the standpoint of having fun,Ã¢ÂÂ said Moe, who was a graduate assistant for the KU team. Ã¢ÂÂI wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a coach. I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a player. I stuffed a lot of envelopes and maybe coached one player at practice, but I was part of it.
Ã¢ÂÂTo watch that team grow from a 12-8 record to winning the national championship Ã¢ÂÂ: itÃ¢ÂÂs because Larry Brown made them get better each and every day.
Ã¢ÂÂIt goes back to that Carolina philosophy. Danny (Manning) was on that team, but it also took an effort from the rest of the guys on the team.Ã¢ÂÂ
Moe, who was born in Burlington, N.C., played high school ball in Aurora, Colo., and college ball at Division. II Catawba and Texas Lutheran.
Truth be known, his favorite gym just might be Allen Fieldhouse, where heÃ¢ÂÂll coach tonight.
Ã¢ÂÂI just want to feel the moment. I want my kids to feel the moment,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said. Ã¢ÂÂFor me and those kids, itÃ¢ÂÂs going to mean a lot. To coach on the same floor with someone you respect like coach Williams Ã¢ÂÂ:quot; a guy who has stood the test of time in a tough, tough business Ã¢ÂÂ:quot; it will be a memorable night.Ã¢ÂÂ
Moe knows the score could get ugly.
Ã¢ÂÂIf we get beat 150-50 weÃ¢ÂÂll just have to use it to get better. IÃ¢ÂÂm not smart enough to figure out how to lead a Division. II team to a win over Division. I,Ã¢ÂÂ Moe said. Ã¢ÂÂIn eight years at Colorado, we never ended up beating KU and we had more talent than we have now at Emporia. Our goal is to walk away and have people say, Ã¢ÂÂ'Those guys play hard.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ
Williams says heÃ¢ÂÂll have mixed emotions no matter the outcome.
Ã¢ÂÂThey are great friends, part family,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said of the Moes. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs one of those games at the end of the game IÃ¢ÂÂm not going to feel comfortable because if they win, IÃ¢ÂÂm not going to feel comfortable for me and our players and if we win, IÃ¢ÂÂm not going to feel good for David.Ã¢ÂÂ
DavidÃ¢ÂÂs dad will not be on hand tonight to assess the play of his sonÃ¢ÂÂs team, and buddy RoyÃ¢ÂÂs team.
Ã¢ÂÂMy dad wants to come to a game where we have a chance and he can tell me what to do,Ã¢ÂÂ David said with a laugh. Ã¢ÂÂHe wants to come to one where he can influence the outcome of the game.Ã¢ÂÂ