CONCORD – Six years ago, Pat Moyer gave up his job as a longtime physics professor at UNC Charlotte and entered the world of high school sports as the athletics director at Cannon School.
Now, he’s headed back to the classroom.
Moyer resigned from Cannon this week to accept a position as department head and professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.
In a Cannon news release, Head of School Matt Gossage said Russ Campbell and Rod Rachal will share interim athletics director duties for the upcoming school year. Campbell coaches track and field and cross country at Cannon, while Rachal leads the baseball program.
Moyer, who has a doctorate in physics and spent nearly two decades at UNCC before taking the Cannon post, begins his new job on July 1.
He said he was happy at Cannon but is headed south for one reason: He simply missed teaching.
“I was at Charlotte 17 years, and I loved my job there,” Moyer told the Independent Tribune. “I also love everything at Cannon School, and this has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It’s been amazing. I love the people here, I love sports and competing, I love the kids. But at the end of the day, for me, it basically came down to the fact that I just miss the physics.
“I’ve missed science, I’ve missed being with the kids every day, all day like I was as a professor,” he added. “I miss the classroom, I miss my research lab. Once you do something for 30 years, it becomes part of your heart and soul, and that part of me was missing.”
Moyer has helped lead the Cannon athletics program to new heights during his tenure, with the school winning multiple individual and team state championships.
“I feel really good about the work we did at Cannon,” Moyer said. “I feel like I’m leaving them in a better place – I hope I am. I’m really proud of the leadership stuff we’ve done with the athletes and the strength and conditioning stuff. I just think it’s time for the next chapter and time for Cannon to get the next AD.”
Gossage said there’s no doubt Moyer is leaving the department on strong footing and that he’ll be sorely missed.
“He made this team better,” Gossage said, according to the news release. “Pat, as our athletic director, has worked with Rod Rachal, Becky Ervin, Shawn Powell and our coaches to build a culture where our student-athletes commit to a process and caring about each other. Pat has led an amazing effort in building a solid base where our student-athletes learn how to compete the right way.”
One of the most fulfilling aspects of his time at Cannon, Moyer said, was helping the athletics program rise from 12th in the statewide Wachovia Cup standings to fifth.
“Just seeing how hard the kids worked and how the leadership has gotten better has been great,” he said. “We’ve had success, but we’ve done it the right way. Our kids grinded every day, and they succeeded. And we did it with our kids; we didn’t do it by going and recruiting other kids. Everybody – coaches, parents, kids – just did it by working to get a little bit better every day. And I feel good about that.”
Moyer has two adult children: a son, Tully, and a daughter, Mackenzie, who was an all-state softball player for the Cougars and graduated from Cannon in 2012.
Moyer’s wife, Carla, is the head of Cannon’s middle school. She will stay in her role here, while Moyer commutes.
“Allegiant flies out of Concord, which is close to our house, so it’ll be no problem,” Moyer said. “I look forward to getting back in the classroom, and I can’t wait to get started.”