Douglas Thornton “Doug” Moser, who for over 40 years as a teacher and coach contributed in his distinctive way to the development of many students and athletes in the Chattanooga area, died on July 23, 2019, at Memorial Hospital.
Doug was a lifelong resident of Chattanooga who, over the course of his life, was a vital part of three families in the conventional sense—the one into which he was born and two others he helped to create. The members of all his families mattered to him, and on them he has left an enduring impact.
Through his career of over four decades as an educator in elementary school, high school, and college, Doug also became a respected part of a larger family that spanned a wide range of constituencies in the Chattanooga area. In his teaching and coaching career, he created a strong bond with many students and families and, in the process, made a significant impact on innumerable lives.
Doug was born to Beverly and Violet Moser on January 22, 1950. He grew up with two brothers who survive him: Alexis, of Bryant, Alabama, and Enoch, who lives in Merritt Island, Florida, with his wife Barbara. This family has grown to include several nephews and nieces who also survive Doug.
On August 14, 1971, Doug married Susan Alday. Their children, Sara and Adam, both of Chattanooga, survive. After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1972, Susan and Doug began their work as teachers. Susan worked in elementary education, where she was much loved by colleagues and students, until her death in 1999.
On June 7, 2011, Doug married Lorraine Peninguy Stewart. In addition to Lorraine, Doug is survived by Michelle Stewart Wiltz, of Chattanooga, and Jeffrey Stewart, of Atlanta; their respective spouses, Danny Wiltz and Lindsey Warren Stewart; and Michelle and Danny’s daughters, Ella Rose and Audriana.
Doug graduated from City High School in 1968 and UTC in 1972, after first playing baseball at Tennessee Tech for two years. He then invested himself, to great effect, in the Chattanooga educational community. He taught, in classrooms and on athletic fields and courts, at Elbert Long Elementary School, City High School, UTC, Baylor School, and Girls Preparatory School. Among his many career achievements:
·In three years as the varsity girls’ basketball coach at his alma mater, the City High team was runner-up in 1982 and state champion in 1983 in class AA.
·He then became, for two years, assistant to Sharon Fanning while she was the women’s basketball coach at UTC. Each of those years, the UTC women won both the regular season and tournament championships in the Southern Conference. In the first year Doug assisted Coach Fanning, the team was ranked 19th in the AP poll and lost to Vanderbilt in the championship of the NWIT by one point.
·Baylor, as part of its transition to coeducation, then hired Doug to serve as the school’s first girls’ basketball and softball coach. Doug also taught math at Baylor, but he made the contributions for which he is best known in the athletic realm, leading students to a high level of achievement and laying the foundation for sustained success in both programs. During his coaching tenure, Baylor won two class AAA state softball championships (1993, 1994). In basketball, Baylor finished second in the state in Division IIAA in 2001, as well as winning several district 6AAA championships and the 1997 region 3AAA tournament title.
·One aspect of his work as an educator in which Doug took particular satisfaction was helping students and players develop and achieve high goals by working hard to apply their talents to a task. He took great satisfaction that one of his former players in both softball and basketball, Kelli Howard Smith, now coaches the Baylor softball team and, building on the foundation Doug laid, has led that program to a level of sustained excellence.
·Doug received several district Coach of the Year awards in both sports he coached. In addition, he was a two-time winner of the Scrappy Moore award, given annually to the outstanding high school coach in the Chattanooga area, once (1983) for basketball, and once (1994) for softball—a unique coaching achievement, and unparalleled in the history of that award.
Despite his numerous accomplishments and the many honors he received for his coaching, Doug was as self-effacing a person as one would ever be likely to meet. Consistent with his reluctance to call attention to himself, his family will honor his wish to have a simple, small private memorial gathering to mark the occasion of his passing.
But there will also be a public celebration of his life at a date and location to be determined. The details of that public celebration will be announced in the near future.
Consistent with Doug’s values and his express wishes, his family asks that, in lieu of flowers, anyone seeking to honor or remember him do so by contributing to the American Cancer Society or the National Kidney Foundation.
Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home ~ Ashland Terrace, 601 Ashland Terrace , Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415. (423) 877-3524 Lanefh.com