The Star Valley girls warmly adapted to their reclassification into Class 4A by making both volleyball and girls basketball state tournaments this school year. The two head coaches who oversaw those pleasant surprise seasons have since submitted their letters of resignation, which were approved this last week.
Chad Teichert and Dave Moore both had their letters of resignation signed by activities director Robert Erickson within the past 10 days. Moore was barely removed from having coached Star Valley into the semifinals of the 4A girls basketball tournament. He had known for much longer, however, that it would likely be his last season.
“I had that group of six seniors, and I knew that this was probably going to be it,” Moore said. “I was going to finish up with them and step away for a time. I was thinking pretty seriously about it, and when the season ended it was time.”
Moore served as an assistant under Erickson when the now-athletic director started coaching the Star Valley girls basketball team in 2010. Moore then inherited the program when Erickson was promoted. The Braves made the 3A championship game in both of Moore’s first two years and won the title in 2017.
The Braves went 74-28 in four seasons with Moore as head coach. A number of the Star Valley six seniors — Abby Coles, Caitland Erickson, Shay Erickson, Millie Merritt, Cassie Hunsaker and Olivia Muir — played on the Braves team that went 20-6 and won gold when they were sophomores. More of them played last year when the Braves struggled but still qualified for the tournament. They all depart the program having successfully transitioned the program into 4A.
“I was surprised by their improvement from last year to this year,” Moore said. “This group has won and they went into 4A expecting to win and they certainly carried through with that.”
Added Erickson: “We’re proud of him. He got bumped up and he went. It was a strong senior class for sure and we’re hoping the classes that follow continue to move the program forward.”
Moore will take time off to recharge his batteries. He’s excited to spend more time with his wife, ski and watch his son, Wyatt, run track at Wyoming starting next season.
Teichert, however, remains more of a mystery. He had been less open about his desire to retire after this season. There was little sign of his aim to step away from the program until the paperwork landed on Erickson’s desk.
“He keeps his cards close to his chest, and I wasn’t aware he was considering resigning until I received it this spring,” Erickson said. “He ended well, ended strong, left the program in great shape going forward.”
Teichert spent the past four years as head volleyball coach at Star Valley, where he accrued a 107-23 head coaching record. The Braves won the 3A title in 2016 and in their first year of 4A competition advanced to the championship match before losing to Kelly Walsh. Teichert, who also coached at Cokeville, Mountain View, Green River and at Idaho State, did not return the Star-Tribune’s request for comment.
“He’s an icon in the world of volleyball,” Erickson said.
Star Valley is currently in the advertising process for both coaching openings. The school will review in-house applicants first and then weigh outside candidates.
Erickson thanked both for their service and for leaving their respective programs in high standing.
“Both great men,” Erickson said. “Both dedicated to kids and building programs. They’re exactly why we have those activities.”