Brandon Moss is donning green and gold again, but this time it isn’t the threads of the Oakland Athletics, but instead that Gatewood in Eatonton after being hired as the Gators’ new head baseball coach.
Moss played 11 years in the big leagues and brings an impressive resume of baseball accomplishments to Eatonton.
“I look forward to this new chapter and the opportunity to impact young men as both an example and teacher of the value of hard work, dedication to ones craft, as well as the value of experience.” Moss said.
The former Loganville baseball star was drafted in the eighth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. After serving five years in the minor leagues before moving into the big leagues in 2007 with the Red Sox, Moss has the knowledge but also the playing credentials many minor leaguers only dream of.
In August 2007, after joining the Red Sox from their minor league system, Moss immediately contributed and helped Boston win the World Series. That was only the beginning as Moss ended his career having made playoff appearances in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 with the Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals.
Playing for Oakland in 2014, Moss was selected to the American League All-Star team. That same year, he set a major league record for home runs and RBIs in a single wild card game with two home runs and five RBIs in a 12-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals.
Moss finished his MLB career in 2018 with 160 home runs and 159 doubles, which helped him finish among the top 1,000 players in major league history for extra base hits.
Moss is married to his wife of 17 years, Allie. They have two sons, Jayden, 10, and Brody, 7, both of whom attend Gatewood.
“Gatewood is very excited to be able to have a person of Brandon's baseball experience and the quality he will bring to our program,” Gatewood athletic director Buster Douglas said. “With his hiring, we are hoping to bring stability to the program and a world of knowledge.”
Moss comes to Gatewood aiming for success both on and off the field.
“Winning a World Series is the pinnacle of team achievements at the professional level,” Moss said. “Obviously, the parallel to that at the amateur level is the winning of championships for respective leagues. You always want to be the team standing on top, because that helps validate the hard work and dedication that you put in to get there. … Success can certainly be measured by titles and trophies, but it can also be measured by the impact you may have on individuals.”
Moss said his focus would be diverse when begins working with the team, which went 2-1 in a shortened season back in the spring.
“My primary focus will be to recognize and develop talent, but also prepare these young men for the next level of life. For some, that next level may include baseball, but for many more, it will not,” he said. “I believe with a focus on those primary fundamentals, the winning will follow. However, never in the history of sports has a title been won by anyone other than the people playing for it. Players win championships when they work hard, dedicate themselves to their craft and their team, and believe in the men leading them.”
With such a resume of major league experience and triumphs, it could be easy to question why a man with that background would want to coach on the high school level.
“I took the job at Gatewood because I believe that these kids deserve to have a program that works tirelessly for them and their best interests at all times. Not the interests of their parents, not the interests of their coaches, not even the interests of their school, but for them,” Moss said. “I believe that they deserve consistency and not a revolving door of personalities that they never learn to trust.”
Moss is excited and ready but he knows he will need the support of the collective Gatewood community.
“We would love to generate enthusiasm and excitement for our program,” he said. “At the end of the day, the program belongs to the community, not to me, or any other coach of any program. The community is what sustains the school with finances and students, so it is theirs. I hope that we can build something here that the community is proud of, that they support and that they come out and show that support for the young men who will be putting in all the effort.”