UCLA announced that Billie Moore, the history-making women’s basketball coach who won national championships with two different schools, died Wednesday of cancer. She was 79. She died at home in Fullerton, Calif.
Surrounded by friends and family after a “long battle with multiple myeloma,” the university reported. Moore was the first women’s basketball coach to lead two different schools to national titles: Cal State Fullerton in 1970 and UCLA in 1978. The first U.S. to win a silver medal.
She also served as the head coach of the women’s Olympic basketball team. At the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. According to the Associated Press, Moore began her coaching career as an assistant at Southern Illinois, then spent eight seasons as the head coach at Cal State Fullerton before moving to UCLA, where she went 140-15.
She was at UCLA for 16 seasons from 1977 to 1993. She holds the school record for most wins as a women’s basketball coach with 296. She totaled 436 wins as a collegiate head coach and in 1991 became the women’s eighth Division I only. UCLA said. A head coach must win 400 games.
“It’s hard to put into words the depth of Billy Moore’s influence.” current UCLA women’s basketball head coach Corey Close said in the announcement. “I knew very well that I had to walk the path that Billy Moore blazed. A truly great life to live.”
Moore was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. She was inducted into UCLA’s Hall of Fame in 2000. USA Basketball tweeted Thursday, “Proud to be a part of (Moore’s) journey.
Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this time.”