Green Bay Southwest co-football coach Tim Birr always will remember the final conversation he had with Dick Moseley on Monday afternoon.
It was like all the other talks he had with the longtime coach.
“He was just into football,” Birr said. “He related to the kids. He was old-school, but he related to the kids. His stories, I could sit and listen to him for five to six hours every time.”
Moseley, the Green Bay Packers’ outside linebackers coach from 1988-91 and a volunteer coach at Southwest the past five seasons, died in his sleep Monday night. He was 82.
Birr liked to say that Moseley forgot more about football than he and co-coach Patrick Wallace will ever know. Talking to him was like taking a course in football history.
In addition to his role with the Packers, he also served as the secondary coach for the Buffalo Bills in 1985 and 1986.
He coached at several colleges, a list that includes Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Minnesota, California, Colorado, Kansas and Eastern Michigan. He also coached in the USFL and the Arena Football League and helped the Chicago Bears sign players for their strike-replacement team in 1987.
He was at Minnesota when Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy played there and helped encourage NFL teams to give former Northern Iowa quarterback Kurt Warner a chance after a successful AFL career.
Moseley was a star football and baseball player at Eastern Michigan and spent multiple seasons in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization after graduating college in 1955. He had a chance to participate in spring training and talk with players such as Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax.
“Coach Moseley was one incredible guy,” former Southwest quarterback Matt McMahon said. “As good as he was as a coach he was a 10 times better person. He always preached, “Pursuit of excellence” and just truly had a way to get the best out of his players.”
Moseley became a volunteer coach at Southwest when former coach Bryce Paup was at the school. Paup was coached by Moseley his first two seasons in the NFL.
When Paup left for an assistant job at Northern Iowa in 2013, Moseley still kept his role at Southwest.
“From Coach Birr’s and my perspective, he had every opportunity to walk away when we took the job,” Wallace said. “He had no ties really to us. This guy, he saw something in us that he thought he could help mentor.”
Each week during the football season, Moseley gave Birr and Wallace a scouting report on the upcoming opponent. The report was hand-written in pencil and sometimes was 10 pages long.
Both coaches received their own individual handwritten copy. Moseley could have photocopied one after writing the first, but that just wasn’t his style.
He returned to Green Bay each year before the football season — he spent the winters in Florida with his wife, Nancy — and the first thing he’d do is visit the players.
His work at Southwest wasn’t as highly publicized, but his impact was just as big as any of his other jobs.
“We even went out to breakfast twice, just us,” former Southwest defensive back Khan Balushi said. “I went with the intentions of draining him of all his knowledge on college football, and instead, he insisted I tell him everything about my personal life just to get to know me better. He saw me as a young man first, football player second.
“When you find a coach like that, it really means a lot, and players recognize it instantly.”
Balushi still vividly remembers those breakfast conversations and his other talks with Moseley. Many left a big impact on him.
“We talked about everything,” Balushi said. “He made me man up and talk about my problems with my dad. Doing what a coach should. He had the courage to talk about your flaws with you so you can address them and move forward.
“I never talk to anyone about my father, and I felt comfortable enough to open up about it with him.”
Southwest players will wear a special decal on their helmets to honor Moseley this season.
Funeral arrangements for Moseley are pending.
— firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @scottvenci