From a Historically Black Colleges and Universities standout student-athlete to an HBCU Head Coach, Alcorn State Men’s and Women’s Tennis Head Coach Darnesha Moore has blazed many trails in her life and she’s only 25.
From an early age, tennis has been at the forefront of Moore’s life, learning the game from her aunt in Chicago where she grew up.
“I think my aunt taught me how to play when I was maybe three of four,” stated Moore. “I just really fell in love with competing, because I am a very competitive person and I also love to travel, which I did a lot of through tennis.”
Graduating high school at 16, Moore attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she would begin her HBCU journey and go on to have one of the most successful careers of a women’s tennis player in Southern history.
Named the SWAC Women’s Most Valuable Player in 2014, Moore went on to earn All-Conference honors all four years as a Jaguar and was named the Southern University Women’s Athlete of the Year in 2014.
“It was hands down the best experience for me,” noted Moore. “Being from Chicago, I had never really been to the south so it taught me a lot about my culture. At Southern, the family environment is what really stood out to me. I feel like even today I could pick up my phone and call any one of my former teammates and it has been years since I graduated.”
Moving from student-athlete to coach, Moore went on to serve as a volunteer assistant and video coordinator for Southern before joining LSU, where she assisted with the Men’s Tennis program.
Ready to embark on her next challenge, Moore accepted her first head coaching position in 2019, at the young age of 23, as the Men’s and Women’s Head Tennis Coach at Alcorn State University.
“Being a black female tennis coach for me is a privilege,” Moore says. “It is something that I love and is not like a job. I get to wake up and fulfill my purpose which in return makes me a better person. Being a coach is amazing because I am connected to so many people on their journeys and the one thing that connects us all is tennis.”
As Moore continues her own journey through the sport of tennis, she offered some words of wisdom for young coaches looking to get their start in the sport:
“Try to make as many mistakes as possible,” stated Moore. “Just handle mistakes with grace, reflect on the mistakes you made, write down the lessons you learned, and try not to make that mistake again. Also, keep track of the lessons you learned so you can help someone else in a similar situation in the future.”