CLINTON – “Before I got hurt, I was by far the best tennis player around. At camps, I could come out and hit, and the kids would come out to watch. I could show them how to hit a shot. They would absolutely buy into everything I told them.”
That was David Moore reflecting on his life before 1993, a period when, he said, “I was probably playing the best tennis of my life.” He was five years removed from conquering college, helping St. Ambrose University make it to the NAIA national tournament in 1988. He’d spent the following years dominating the Iowa adult circuit, rated consistently in the top five in the state.
In 1993, Moore was named the United States Tennis Association – Iowa Player of the Year, and in early August, he’d won a major tournament near the Quad Cities, playing “incredibly.”
Moore also had just revived a middle-of-the-pack Clinton High tennis program. When he took over in 1990, the River Kings finished below .500. In spring 1993, they had finished a 10-1 season, helping Moore earn Mississippi Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
At the time, Moore was a driver for UPS, based in Davenport. He described long hours and heavy road miles. It was the kind of job that forced Moore to work late nights.
On Aug. 11, 1993, Moore said he was driving on one of those late nights home to Camanche from Davenport, when he drifted off behind the wheel.
Almost 20 years later, Moore is giving the latest in River Kings tennis lineage – seniors Jacob Kruse and Ryan Schroeder – final pointers at Clinton’s Max Lynn Tennis Courts. A day later, the pair will compete for the Iowa High School Athletics Association doubles crown. Moore watches with his daughter — Chelsea Moore, a 21-year-old member of the University of Northern Iowa’s womens team — as his duo competes.