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One Of Roanoke's Most Colorful Characters Is Retiring

The University of North Florida has announced the retirement of Lee Moon, the athletic director at UNF since 2009, and one of the true characters to come out of the Roanoke Valley.

Moon played football at William Fleming High School in Roanoke before heading to VMI, where he was an offensive lineman between 1966-69.

Moon later served as a graduate assistant at Virginia from 1972-73 and as a full-time assistant to then-UVa coach Dick Bestwick.

Moon later had full-time coaching stints at Duke, UVa, Mississippi and Kansas State, where he was the interim head coach.

Moon later served as the interim athletic director at Kansas State and was the AD at Marshall and Wyoming.

Moon's decision to retire, announced earlier in the spring, became official this week

"For the past 12 years, Coach Lee Moon has served the university with great distinction, integrity and devotion to our student-athletes, coaches and athletic programming," UNF President David Szymanski said in a statement. "Under his leadership, UNF Athletics has fostered a strong culture of athletic excellence, high academic achievement and great respect that has directly contributed to the remarkable growth and success of UNF's sports programs. His legacy will leave a long-lasting impact on our Osprey community."

After Szymanski was named North Florida president in 2018, Moon still had a contract for three years and said he would stay for that. He would have left last year if not for the pandemic.

"There are a lot of guys around my age who have been ADs for a long time," Moon said, "but, after this, they hung it up. It just takes a toll. It really did. The [North Florida] program is probably in the best shape it's ever been."

Top aide Nick Morrow will succeed Moon.

"I've got opportunities in mind, like creating my own LLC," said Moon, who is in his 70's. "I'm going to help with some [coaching] searches. I still want to be involved in athletics in some form or fashion."

He meets with VMI buddies every July and is looking forward to a postponed reunion of his 50th class at VMI.

He also fondly remembers recruiting trips to Roanoke, where he and then-Virginia Tech assistant Tom Fletcher would attend the best game in the Roanoke area, preceded by a stop at the Thunderbird Club off Williamson Road.

"My high school reunion is coming up," Moon said, "and I think that's where they're going to have it."

It will be the 55th reunion of Moon's senior class at Fleming, where he played center and defensive tackle for then-Colonels coach Fred Smith. .

Recruiting

Brody Meadows, the 6-foot-7, 270-pound offensive lineman who committed to Virginia last week, adds to a UVa legacy at Graham High School in Bluefield.

Graham is the alma mater of the late Bill Dudley, arguably the Cavaliers' most prominent football alumnus and a member of the NFL Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Dudley was chosen by Pittsburgh with the first pick in the 1942 NFL Draft.

A more recent Graham graduate, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, signed with Virginia but had a behavioral issue that kept him from suiting up for the the Cavaliers. He rushed for nearly 3,000 yards at Marshall and spent nine seasons in the NFL.

Ahmad Bradshaw's son, Xayvion, is a running back at Graham. He has received considerable interest from Notre Dame and has offers from Virginia and West Virginia.

More Recruiting

Duke has taken a football commitment from Wesley Williams, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end from Haymarket, Va., and Battlefield High School. He also had offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Liberty according to insidenova.com.

  ■  The Virginia Tech and Virginia football recruiting classes for 2022 are currently ranked 23rd and 44th according to 247sports.com. Tech's class is third among ACC programs, behind No. 3 Florida State No. 6 Boston College and No. 20 Clemson. UVa currently is ninth among ACC schools.

Notre Dame is 16th overall.

Dennis Parker, a 6-6 rising sophomore at John Marshall in Richmond, is attracting interest from ACC-level basketball programs. He is ranked 40th in his class by rivals.com and is listed with offers from Wake Forest, Mississippi, Texas A&M and Rutgers.

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Friday, 30 September 2022

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