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‘Coach Moody’ of West football personifies the essence of the Golden Bears



Billings, Montana – The football team from Billings West will face Helena Capital in the quarterfinals on Friday night. The Golden Bears are among the final eight teams in the Class AA postseason for the eleventh straight year.

The fact that Will Moody has been there for the team the entire ten years, supporting them at every turn and demonstrating to everyone on the field what it means to be a Golden Bear, may or may not be a coincidence.

“I started helping out with West High in 2013 and I haven’t stopped.” Moody said. “I love the sport, and I get to meet new friends and have fun.”

The individual known by his stage name, “Mud Pup,” Will Moody, holds a Billings West degree. The 26-year-old is now an assistant coach for the football team after becoming an avid supporter of the Golden Bears.

“Coach Moody is another very important piece of our entire program. When he’s out on the field we treat him like a coach,” said West tight ends coach Dan Watson, who often spends time with Moody ahead of practices during sixth-period prep time. Watson makes sure to always refer to Will as Coach Moody. Watson said Moody has to go through the same offseason paperwork and protocol that the rest of the coaches do, and he’s expected to hold himself to a high standard.

“He kind of helps us in whatever capacity, he’s a gopher, anything that needs to be done he’s more than happy to get after it for us. The kids look up to him, he’s a big part of the team that way too, they look to him for inspiration and as like another team member.”

Moody is a serious worker. To satisfy his numerous employment responsibilities, he walks there from this house for every practice he can’t miss.

“Pretty seriously, like this is my second job, I don’t get paid, but I love it,” he said. “I help out the coaches, get the ball to the field, pump up the balls if they’re flat… Get the crowd pumped up, get them loud, and try to win games.”

Due to Moody’s dedication to the team, Billings West senior quarterback Drew McDowell, who has continued to be engaged with Special Olympics throughout high school, expressed his desire to be able to chauffeur him about the city more often.

“Honestly, it brings a little passion to the game of football. Somebody who cares so much about the game and is always trying to work his hardest out there,” McDowell said.

On gamedays, Moody is always seen on the sidelines donning a jersey, usually the #64 or #88.

“88 Dominate,” Moody likes to say.

And Moody is the team’s ball boy during the game on those Friday nights down at Daylis Stadium, where you can find him working hard. Moody hustles nonstop during the game, sprinting from the middle of the field to the sidelines and stopping long kicks made by West kicker Jacob Kauwe. He always gives it his all and gives the team the motivation they occasionally need.

“He is always not only when he sprints to the football from the sideline but when he’s on the sideline he’s cheering for the team, whether we’re up 21 or down 14, he’s always the same,” Watson said. “He’s getting after the defense if we’re giving up too many yards, he’s hollering at the 0-line if we’re not picking up our protection, so the kids definitely feed off of Coach Moody.”

Tommy, Will’s younger brother, assists other teams in the community as well as the West program. Tommy has spent nine seasons with the Golden Bears and is two years younger than Will. For the past ten years, their combined name has come to represent the football program. The Moody’s are genuinely a part of the family for Will and the others in the program. Will calls Rob Stanton, the head coach, his “second father.”

“He always tells me what to do, and I do it. Like today, he told me to go tell the players if you’re late you have to go run two laps around the field,” Moody said.

That is the reason Moody returns year after year. Although players eventually graduate and move on, Coach Moody remains a constant figure in Billings West athletics.

“To be with my brothers and family from West High for each season, just to meet new people,” he said. “They always keep me safe if anyone comes after me, they always keep me up to date and get me right.”

Will Moody is unquestionably a valuable member of their team, and McDowell noted that the two have known each other since the senior quarterback’s early years.

“Will likes to tell everybody that he’s known me since I was about this tall, he went to the same church I did when we were a lot younger, and he likes to refer to me as his little brother so I love having Will around,” he said.

McDowell added, “I think Will being a part of this team is something that is nice to know. We have people that we are impacting more than just the players around us. We’re impacting other people, throughout their daily lives and it’s really special to know that Will is part of this group.”

Coach Moody reminds us all to do the things we love, put our all into them, and most importantly, enjoy ourselves.




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