EXETER — Kristopher Moules had two passions in life — upholding the law and playing baseball.
One place where he could often be found was the MVP Sports Academy, where Moules coached young athletes, according to owner Mike Tierney.
“As a co-worker of his, he always carried conversation with the up most respect and it was nothing but a pleasure to always work with him,” said Tierney.
Moules, of Larksville, died on July 18 when he and an inmate smashed through an elevator door and fell in its shaft during a scuffle at the Luzerne County Corrections Facility, falling to their deaths.
He was 25 years old.
In honor of Moules, his family asks for donations be made to MVP Sports Academy, and Tierney said they’ve gotten more than he expected.
“I tried to explain in words to Kris’s family that I could not be more proud to be held responsible to act as an engine to continue his legacy,” he said. “We will do whatever it takes to make sure his name is held to the highest regard.”
Tierney said he plans to discuss plans for the donations with Moules’ family before moving forward with any projects.
Moules graduated from Wyoming Valley West High School in 2009 where he played baseball, soccer and ice hockey.
After high school he was recruited by MVP Sports Academy Baseball Coach Mike Petroski to go to Lackawanna College, where he played baseball for two years and co-captained the 2012 World Series team.
After Moules transferred to Youngstown State University, where he played baseball for two more years, he returned to coach at Lackawanna College in 2014. During that time he maintained his friendship with Petroski and was told about MVP Sports Academy.
He coached MVP’s 17U baseball team, the Blue Jackets.
“Those are the kids that are on their way to college to play this game,” said Tierney. “He was helping with the recruiting process to get the kids to work on parts of the game they may be weak and help with their strengths.”
Moules also coached the 15-year-old division and had them play against older squads with 17-year-old players.
While they didn’t win many games, Tierney said that thanks to Moules’ coaching, “they definitely surprised some teams.”
Moules’ coaching earned him the respect of all of his players, Tierney said.
“All coaches have a different approach, but Kris Moules was not only a coach, a mentor, a friend, but he always demanded a mutual respect between him and his players,” he said. “When he was talking, the kids had eyes on him.”
After Moules was hired as a corrections officer in 2015, he continued to find time to coach at MVP Sports Academy.
“He didn’t miss a beat,” said Tierney. “When he got the job he made time around his days off and then days he didn’t have off he was here for open hitting. He breathed and ate this game. He went above and beyond any of my coaches.”
Although Moules is gone, Tierney is determined to make sure his memory lives on at MVP Sports Academy.
“As for his character and his role here at MVP, I would say, and be bold enough to say, he was pivotal when it comes down to being a symbol in our organization,” he said. “We will be doing a lot of things for him to continue his legacy, because he represented us well.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher