Coach Spotlight: Gus Moss - Moss Elite Bulldogs
The Moss Elite Bulldogs out of Centralia, Illinois have had a strong spring and summer season competing against multiple states and capturing several top finishes. AthElite has hosted Moss Elite at the Jersey Jam, Memorial Day Challenge, and Select Super 16 events and they have not disappointed. They have put together an impressive 7-3 record with their 5th grade/2029 group and have captured trophies, uniforms, and rings. It is no secret, however, that much of their success can be credited to head coach and program director Gus Moss. Since the start of the Moss Elite program, Coach Moss has seen a major increase in the number of players involved as he continues to provide opportunities for young athletes to develop basketball skills, compete at a high level, and travel state to state.
Before starting his youth program, Coach Moss was a highly touted player himself. Jeremey "Gus" Moss was a 2005 graduate of Centralia High School where he was one of the state's top players. He was described in a 2004 HighSchoolElite.com article as a "highlight reel performer" and used his abilities to go on to strong college and professional careers. Once his playing career was over, he brought his wealth of basketball knowledge back to his community to share with the next generation of young hoopers.
Coach Moss is committed to more than just the success of his athletes on the basketball court. Through his Moss Elite Academy, he provides space where students can come for after school "tutoring, mentoring, and inspiration." He requires grade checks before the young athletes can play in tournaments which has motivated several to achieve academic greatness in order to continue to compete. In a 2022 interview, Moss said "Too many times we see kids fail because of their behavior and their grades. Here at the academy we will focus on teaching kindness and having one-on-one sessions with kids to help sharpen their skill sets." By combining athletic, academic, and real life skills he is providing an outlet for players from his community and beyond to grow in a multitude of ways.
"If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you've always gotten. Change is a must," says Coach Moss. "I’m most proud of the way the kids understand this message. They know how important credit and finance is at a early age so when the time comes for them to go to college they know what to do. I love setting them up in the right classes and allowing them to find their careers early in life and not in high school. Instilling life in them early is what I’m most proud of."
"In five years of hosting events, Gus is one of the most passionate coaches we've ever had the pleasure to host," says AthElite Tournament Director Sam Swinford. "He works tirelessly for his players and that's both on and off the court. You can tell when someone loves what they do and what's to see their players succeed and you can see that all over Coach Moss."
His efforts have not went unnoticed as he was awarded keys to the city of Centralia for his "effort to help save the youth for many years." It can be expected that his efforts will continue to pay off as he sees athletes that he trains, coaches, and mentor go on to greatness, both on and off the basketball coach.
Next up for the Coach Moss and the Moss Elite Bulldogs is the GOAT of the Southeast Hardwood Classic in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. For more info on the team, check out Coach Moss on Instagram and Facebook. ###