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Community mourns passing of Bill Moss

A person’s legacy can live on long after they leave this world, and that’s true in the case of Bill Moss, who passed away Aug. 22.

Moss was a former teacher, coach and Franklin County Schools superintendent, and he has left behind family, friends and an entire community of people he impacted in positive ways through his teaching and coaching.

“When you invest and care about people, you leave a lasting legacy, and Coach certainly is proof of that,” said Patrick Odom. Odom played basketball for Moss at Northwest-Shoals Community College from 1994-96, and he said Moss truly cared about the local children and was passionate about recruiting.

“Once you became his player, he always cared and was there for you,” Odom said. “He loved us and always kept up with us in what we were doing, no matter how long it had been since we played for him.”

For Gary Odom, Moss’s influence reaches back all the way to junior high school, when Moss became his first basketball coach.

“He continued to influence me for the remainder of his life and will continue to influence me even in his death,” said the Phil Campbell High School principal. “The number of stories I could tell about him go on and on, but I can say that almost all of them end with me learning something important about life.”

Gary said his son and grandson also have a love for basketball that he credits to Moss for “recognizing and fostering that potential that even I didn’t see in myself.”

Moss was also his history teacher, and Gary said Moss was just as passionate about education as he was about sports.

“Academics were important to him. He helped us to realize that basketball wouldn’t always be there, but our education would,” Gary said. “He had a way of making us want to please him, and we never wanted to disappoint or let him down. That was Coach Moss. They just don’t make them like him anymore.”

Red Bay City Councilman Brad Bolton, who attended NW-SCC in 1995-97, was also impacted by Moss in the classroom.

“He was an outstanding teacher. One of his greatest attributes in my opinion was that he had a business background of his own, having worked in the banking industry years prior to becoming an instructor,” said Bolton, who is president and CEO of Community Spirit Bank.

Bolton said Moss was an approachable teacher who made an effort to connect with his students.

“His accounting classes in particular gave me the love I have for the business world. He remained engaged in the lives of the students he taught even after they left his classroom,” Bolton said.

It is a shared sentiment among everyone who has shared memories Moss has left and can perhaps best be summed up in the words of Gary Odom:

“In the classroom, on the court, in the workplace and in life he, was a friend and someone who everyone who knew him wished they could be. He will be missed by not only his friends and family but by everyone who knew him.”

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