Center Grove football coach investigation almost complete

Eric Moore is in his 18th year as the football and boy’s track coach at Center Grove H.S.

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WTHR) — Center Grove Schools says its investigation into head football coach Eric Moore is nearly finished.

"The investigation is anticipated to be completed by the end of the week," school district communications director Stacy Conrad told WTHR ahead of a Thursday night school board meeting.

The school district says the 3-month investigation is focused on allegations Moore has been "abusing his authority as a coach by being verbally abusive toward his players." Center Grove Schools hired a private, outside attorney to conduct the investigation after receiving multiple reports of alleged abuses by the coach.

Coach Eric Moore lead the CGHS football team to two state titles. (WTHR Photo)
Coach Eric Moore lead the CGHS football team to two state titles. (WTHR Photo)

The investigation was not on the agenda when the Center Grove Board of School Trustees met for their monthly board meeting Thursday night, and neither board members nor the superintendent would discuss the matter with WTHR. But 13 Investigates has learned the school board scheduled two closed-door meetings this week to discuss "a job performance evaluation of individual employees." Conrad would not confirm whether the board discussed Moore during those executive sessions, which were also attended by the high school principal, Center Grove human resources director and school district attorney.

One of those executive sessions resumed late Thursday night after the school board's public session. School board members have been briefed on the investigator’s preliminary findings, according to Conrad.

The school district had expected the investigation to conclude in late April. But after WTHR reported Center Grove had launched an investigation, more families came forward alleging the coach has engaged in bullying and intimidating behavior toward students. Sources close to the investigation tell 13 Investigates the school district’s hired attorney interviewed dozens of people for her report — including Coach Moore.

Moore serves as head football coach, boy's track coach and physical education teacher at Center Grove High School. Now in his 18th year at the school, Moore has led Center Grove to several deep runs in the IHSAA state football tournament, including two 6A state football championships.

His supporters have been waging a public-relations campaign, coming to Moore's defense with yard signs and social media posts. They say Moore is a tough but dedicated coach who cares deeply about his players, who teaches them valuable life lessons and who fosters their success.

Supporters have also been sending letters and emails to superintendent Rich Arkanoff and school board members, sharing personal stories about Moore and how they believe he has improved the Center Grove Community. Some supporters claim the coach has been targeted by a "witch hunt" initiated by a few parents whose kids received little playing time as members of the Center Grove football team.

Several current and former Center Grove players and parents who have spoken to both the school district’s investigator and to WTHR say playing time is not the issue. They claim demeaning, harassing and bullying behavior targeting students is the real reason the school district has been investigating the coach – and why that investigation has taken more than three months to complete.

Center Grove's school board, superintendent and human resources director will have to decide whether any of the findings suggest Moore violated the school district’s Anti-harassment, Staff Ethics, or Student Supervision and Welfare policies. Conrad told WTHR she does not know when the school district will publicly announce results of the investigation.