– In 1989, Moose Moss hired Colorado State diver and former acrobatic skier Jay Lerew to help him coach the already successful and growing Moss Farms Diving program.
And over the next four years, the pair took the program to new heights, adding to the list of state high school, YMCA National and U.S. Diving champions.
The program had grown to such national prominence that after Moss’s death in 1993, Lerew, who took over as head coach, was able to add former Chinese National Team coach Wenbo Chen as his assistant and in 1995, Moss Farms won the National Junior Team Championship.
The pair continued the success started by Moss at his pool near Doerun in 1964 and even after Lerew left for Team Orlando in 1996 and Chen for Purdue in 2001, the program was able to hire outstanding coaches when Ron Piemonte came on board in 2001 and Ed Goodman followed him 2006.
Moss, a Master diving coach, set the bar and those who have followed have continued the tradition of developing outstanding junior divers and preparing them to compete at the next level.
Lerew’s coaching style differed from the one that had led Moss to such success, but, he, too, was able to help expand the program.
It was during his tenure that several top divers from around the country moved to Moultrie to train at Moss Farms.
Several became full-time residents at Colquitt County to take advantage of the facilities and coaching.
When Lerew left Colquitt County, he took over the strong Team Orlando diving program, which he led to eight Junior National team championships.
He coached 10 individual senior national champions during his 11 years in Orlando.
In 2000, he was named the head diving coach for the U.S. Olympic team.
For the past five years, Lerew has been the head diving coach at Texas A&M.
During his tenure with the Aggies, the program produced its first NCAA champion in Jaele Patrick, who won the 3-meter board in 2012.
He also has been named the Big 12 Diving Coach of the Year six times and has produced numerous conference champions and All-Americans.
Chen was an outstanding diver in China and later served as the coach of the Chinese National Team, producing Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalists.
Among his Moss Farms proteges were Katie Beth Bryant, Lane Bassham, Lauryn McCalley, Jud Campbell and Clayton Moss.
Chen left Moss Farms in 2001 to become the head coach at Purdue University and three years later was named the Big 10 Coach of the Year.
He left Purdue to become the head coach at the National Training Center in Indianapolis and was the head coach of the U.S. team in the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
Chen is now the head diving coach at the University of Minnesota.
When Chen left for Purdue in late 2001, Moss Farms Diving was able to lure Ron Piemonte from Beaverton, Ore., where he had coached the Tualatin Hills Diving Team for nine years.
A former diver at Arizona State, he had taken a diver to the Olympic Trials and had been the head coach of the team that competed in the British Grand Prix. He also had been the head men’s and women’s diving coach at the University of New Mexico.
And he, too, developed the Moss Farms talent.
A photograph taken at the 2003 National Junior Diving Championships shows Piemonte with seven young divers: Carly Moore, Eric Winnard, Ryan Helms, Nic Price, Anna Aguero, Hannah Moore and Owen Blank.
Piemonte, too, left Moultrie for a college job and for the last seven seasons he has been the head diving coach at Virginia Tech.
And he has helped build the Hokies program.
During his time in Blacksburg, he has coached three divers who have won six ACC gold medals.
Six of his divers have qualified for the NCAA Championships and all earned All-American designations.
In 2012, he sent five divers to the Olympic Trials and served as national coach for both Grand Prix events.
Before Piemonte left for Virginia Tech in 2006, he hired Ed Goodman as an assistant coach and Goodman took over the program later that year.
He has coached a number of outstanding Moss Farms divers, including Ryan Helms, who went on to an outstanding career at Tennessee; Hannah Moore, Owen Blank, Ann-Perry Blank, Elizabeth Ann Kirkland and daughter Haley, all of whom went to Georgia; Anna Aguero, who competed at Auburn, and his daughter Kelsey, who went on dive at Florida State.
Goodman was an NCAA national qualifier at the University of Cincinnati and had been a national Junior Olympic champion in 1977.
He also was a two-time world age-group tumbling champion.
He also has coached at the University of Toledo,the Sylvania Diving Club, the Fort Lauderdale Diving Team and the Islamorada Diving Club.
Goodman is currently bringing along a strong young group of divers led by Parker Hardigee, Kelliann Howell, Timothy Fagan, Carson Tyler, Abi White, Jordan Avery, Ruth Anne McCranie, Emily Ann Wolfson, Lillian Fagan and others.
Goodman also has worked with the Darton College team and was recently named as the National Junior College Athletic Association Coach of the Year following the recent national championships.