As the moniker would suggest, “Ohio’s Tate” writes about professional and collegiate athletics in the Buckeye state for Barstool Sports. But in recent weeks, he has taken on a new beat: the Granville High School girls basketball team.

That’s because the man behind the blogger alias for over 5.5 years is Tate Moore, head coach of a 25-1 Blue Aces squad that is heading to the state Sweet 16 this week.

For a long time, Moore, who also taught language arts at Pickerington Lakeview Junior High School, had jumped through hoops to keep people in his professional life oblivious to the fact that he was also responsible for the well-known internet character on the side. That changed when he decided to accept a full-time offer from Barstool that came in late January this year.

So as not to push his start date back a few months, he resigned from his teaching job. But Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy agreed to let him finish out the basketball season before moving to Chicago, where Moore will be working for the sports and entertainment media company.

Moore met with his players to address the career decision, acknowledging that it would be his last season as their coach. At the meeting, he gave them a choice: Carry on with the season as normal, never to hear a word about Barstool again, or leverage his internet platform as a means for drawing national attention to the team.

Unanimously, the players chose the latter. 

And to say that they have since received national attention might be an understatement. A video he posted of senior Aliyah Moore on X (formerly known as Twitter), using his Ohio’s Tate account with over 56,000 followers, has been viewed nearly 2,000,000 times. An interview clip of fellow senior Harper Annarino that Tate shared from the account has over 185,000 views. The game preview blogs that Moore has started writing for the Barstool website have all received over 50 comments.

Here’s how Moore, who was recently named the Licking County League Coach of the Year for the fifth consecutive season, finds himself in the midst of a career pivot at age 31, and what players are saying about getting to play in the limelight.

Ohio’s Tate: Moore’s longtime secret persona

Moore attended Wadsworth High School and The Ohio State University — hence the nickname. As a student, he contemplated pursuing a career in either journalism or education.

Ultimately, he chose the teaching route, but he went to New York in 2018 for a contest called Barstool Idol, a spin on American Idol. After the contest, Portnoy was interested in hiring Moore part-time. Still passionate about writing, Moore wanted to accept the offer, but knew the Barstool brand was controversial, and worried that publicly associating himself with the company could frustrate parents of the kids he was teaching and coaching.

So, Portnoy and Moore came to an agreement: He would write under an alias.

Ohio’s Tate has existed on social media and the internet ever since, churning out quick write-ups about Cleveland’s professional sports teams and, of course, the Ohio State Buckeyes. But in school faculty meetings and chats about high school basketball around Licking County, he was still the same Tate Moore.

Concerned about people connecting the dots between the sports blogger called Ohio’s Tate and the local Ohio State grad and sports coach who happened to have the name Tate, he did everything he could to keep the identities separate, even going so far as blocking administrators and teachers from the schools he worked at on his Ohio’s Tate X account.

“Up until the end of January, I had people that I’m very close to that had no idea,” Moore said. “What’s been crazy is the amount of people who knew who Ohio’s Tate is, and knew who Tate Moore is, and didn’t know they were the same person.”

Moore was actually offered a full-time job at Barstool after one year of blogging part-time. But he turned it down because he was happy teaching and he knew he had a talented crop of returning players at Watkins Memorial, where he coached before Granville.

“The last 4.5 years now, I’ve questioned that decision,” he said. “I love teaching, I love coaching, I love writing. But then I’m sitting here watching these guys at the Super Bowl, and I’m watching these guys make March Madness content, and I’m watching these guys get to meet really cool people and doing really cool things.”

So, when the offer came around a second time, he decided to bite the bullet.

Internet stars: What two players say about national exposure

Of course, players – particularly those who do not graduate this year – are bummed to know that they will be losing a coach who has led Granville to four consecutive district titles at the end of the season. But in the present, they are enjoying the attention that Moore is bringing them through his Barstool engagement.

“It’s been extremely fun with the team,” said sophomore point guard Delaney Varrasso. “Seeing everyone’s reactions to the games, all the comments – it’s definitely made it a lot more fun.”

The increased exposure has also provided additional incentive for on-court execution, said Annarino, the Licking County League and District 11 Co-Player of the Year.

“It’s made our team chemistry stronger, and it’s given us more motivation to play harder and together, and to take one game at a time,” she said. “In practice, we are more focused on the details, because we want to make everything perfect.”

Moore himself has actually had conflicting feelings about one particular element of the national exposure: the “Tate’s Last Dance” shirts that Barstool has sold online and provided to the team for warm-ups.

“The ‘Tate’s Last Dance’ thing kind of rubs me the wrong way, because it’s Harper, Aliyah, Taylor, Hanah and Haley’s last dance, not mine,” he said, referencing the team’s seniors. “But if that puts us on a platform, it does.”

The district champions are now preparing for their 6 p.m. Sweet 16 duel against Bryan High School on Tuesday, March 5. Those interested in catching the action can either head to Mansfield Senior High School or join thousands across the nation following along online.

Jack Nimesheim writes for, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University’s Journalism program, which is sponsored in part by the Mellon Foundation and donationsfrom readers. Sign up for The Reporting Project newsletter here.