2013 INDUCTEE - WAYNE MOSLEY
By Calvin Cooley
For the Decatur Daily
From Decatur to Huntsville to Buffalo to Canada, football has taken Wayne Moseley across North America.
Playing for teams featuring all-time greats such as O.J. Simpson, Johnny Rodgers and Joe DeLamielleure allowed him to witness some of the game's greatest players.
On June 13 at the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame banquet when he is enshrined with six other local sports heroes, the game he has loved for a lifetime will offer Moseley one more memory.
"Getting honored like this is such a humbling experience," Moseley said. "It's an experience that I am very blessed to be involved with. I never imagined I'd get to be a part of something like this."
A standout running back at Austin from 1968 through 1970, Moseley racked up numerous individual accolades as a Black Bear under coach Bearl Whitsett. He earned All-Morgan County, All-Tennessee Valley Conference and honorable mention all-state honors, as well as being named the team's most valuable running back in 1969 and 1970.
"I remember being a part of some very strong teams during my time at Austin," Moseley said. "In 1968 we finished 8-1-1 and got mentioned as being one of the top teams in the state. That was a fun team to be a part of."
The 1968 Black Bears were indeed among the strongest teams in the state, starting Moseley's sophomore campaign 8-0 before falling 7-6 to Bradshaw and playing to a 7-all draw with Athens in the season's final two games. Austin went 4-5-1 and 6-4 in Moseley's junior and senior seasons, after which he accepted a scholarship offer to Alabama A&M.
Much like his time as Austin, Moseley shined at A&M, earning All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors while being named Who's Who among the university's junior class.
"Alabama A&M offered me a great opportunity to extend my playing career and I really enjoyed my time at the university," he said. "I'll never forget walking into Legion Field for my first Magic City Classic against Alabama State. It was my first time in a really big stadium and my first game on Astroturf. That was a big game for us every season, and we were able to walk away with a win that day. I'll always remember that game."
After finishing his college career, Moseley accepted an invitation to an open tryout with the Buffalo Bills. "Scouts talked with me during my last year at A&M about the possibilities of the Bills selecting me in the draft," Moseley said. "When the draft came around that didn't pan out. But when it was over I received a call with an invitation to try out for a spot on the 1974 team."
Head coach Lou Saban and staff liked what they saw during the tryout, rewarding Moseley with a spot on a talented roster that featured future Pro Football Hall of Famer's Simpson and DeLamielleure.
"In his prime years, O.J. Simpson was the best running back in football," Moseley said. "I remember watching him at USC while I was in high school and in the NFL while I was at A&M. Getting to actually see him play and practice with him was such a great experience."
After one season with the Bills, Moseley migrated to Canada where he earned a spot with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, a team that featured another Heisman Trophy-winning running back in former Nebraska star Johnny Rodgers.
"Rodgers was quick like lightning, one of the fastest players I had ever seen," Moseley said. "He was a star in college and he carried that right into professional ball. He was real fun to watch."
Moseley's stint in Montreal was short-lived when he was traded to the British Columbia Lions before the 1975 season.
"Football in Canada was a whole other animal," Moseley said. "The field was wider, each team played with 12 players and the game moved a lot faster. There were a lot of quirks that took some getting used to. It was definitely and adjustment."
One of those quirky rules was on full display in Moseley's first exhibition game in the CFL.
After settling under a deep punt, Moseley threw an arm in the air to signal a fair catch. Little did he know, unlike football in the U.S., the CFL did not have the fair catch rule.
"It felt like all 12 men on the other team hit me at one time," he said. "I remember the ref looking over and saying, 'Welcome to the CFL, we don't have a fair catch here.' It was horrible."
Moseley's pro career came to an end after one season with British Columbia but he cherishes his experience after leaving Alabama.
"My pro career just didn't pan out," he said. "That happens. I wouldn't change it for anything, though. Football opened a lot of doors for me and has allowed me to be in this position with the Morgan County Hall of Fame. I'll always be grateful."
After moving on from football Moseley took a job with a large hotel in metro Atlanta before getting a job with GM, from which he was able to retire.
He now works at International Paper in Courtland and lives in Decatur with his wife Pat.
"Wayne is about as down to earth as you can get," Pat said. "He had some success in sports but he's a very, very humble man. He still gets fired up when football season rolls around, though. He's one of the biggest Alabama A&M fans you'll ever meet."
Now Moseley is content enjoying life and soaking in the Hall of Fame experience.
"This really is a surreal experience," he said. "To be mentioned with some of the players and coaches who have already been inducted into this Hall of Fame is just a blessing. I can't say that enough. I really am humbled."