Billie Moore, Olympic and UCLA basketball coach who received championships, dies at 79

Ann Meyers Drysdale by no means let up whereas enjoying for the primary U.S. girls’s Olympic basketball workforce, even in apply. That meant she would often have some explaining to do.

Her roommate Juliene Simpson wished to know why she had performed this or that, comparable to when Meyers Drysdale as soon as unnecessarily slammed into her on a choose and roll.

It was due to their coach.

“You wanted to impress Billie, you wanted to please Billie, to know that you were playing hard for her, you were playing hard for the team,” Meyers Drysdale remembered.

Billie Moore all the time demanded full effort. It was why she made her gamers run, run once more after which run some extra in preparation for the highly effective Soviet Union in these 1976 Olympics in Montreal, a bunch of school children taking over a juggernaut with gamers of their mid-20s and 30s.

The sport went as anticipated, Moore displaying a wry humorousness in an apart to assistant coach Sue Gunter.

“I think the score was 20-0 and Billie, on the bench, looked at Sue and said, ‘Are we ever going to score?’ ” Meyers Drysdale stated. “And we did, but I think we got blown out by 40 or something like that.”

The Individuals went on to win the silver medal, serving as trailblazers for nationwide groups which have now received seven consecutive golds with out an Olympic loss since 1992. Moore amassed her personal spectacular haul, changing into the primary girls’s basketball coach to information two faculty groups to nationwide championships. She received all of it with Cal State Fullerton in 1970 and once more with UCLA in 1978 as a part of a 24-year profession during which she compiled a 436-196 document.

Surrounded in her remaining days at her Fullerton house by most of the gamers and coaches she impressed, recollections shared because the mentor’s eyes brightened and she or he rattled off one-liners, Moore died Wednesday evening from most cancers. She was 79.

Billie Moore coaches UCLA towards Washington State on March 3, 1991, at Pauley Pavilion.

(Gary Newkirk / Getty Photographs)

The listing of these within the girls’s recreation whom Moore touched reads like its personal corridor of fame, together with legendary coaches Pat Summitt, Nell Fortner and Mickie DeMoss, amongst many others. The late Summitt, who performed for Moore on the ’76 Olympic workforce earlier than teaching Tennessee to eight nationwide championships, as soon as stated Moore had been essentially the most influential determine in her profession.

“Billie is our John Wooden,” stated Meyers Drysdale, a senior on the Bruins workforce that received the nationwide championship as a part of her personal Corridor of Fame profession. “She truly has been a gift to us in the women’s game.”

Similarities between the universally revered UCLA coaches went past nationwide titles. Each may let their gamers know they have been upset with out cursing, a glance of their eyes saying all the things.

Moore was additionally a grasp tactician. Whereas Diane Frierson was UCLA’s major level guard throughout the nationwide championship season, Moore realized there have been occasions when it will be higher to let Meyers Drysdale deal with the ball in order that Frierson may roam the wing for her knockdown leap pictures.

Even and not using a participant taller than 6 toes 1, the Bruins routinely outrebounded opponents, thanks partly to a apply drill. A bubbled plastic cap could be positioned over the rim, resulting in random bounces on each shot. The participant who wished the rebound essentially the most typically bought it.

Amongst her many standouts whereas teaching at UCLA was Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who performed basketball earlier than happening to Olympic glory within the heptathlon and the lengthy leap.

“I will forever be grateful and thankful for her friendship beyond the basketball court,” Joyner-Kersee stated. “Billie gave me an opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a Bruin.”

Meyers Drysdale had identified Moore lengthy earlier than Moore changed Ellen Mosher because the Bruins’ coach earlier than the 1977-78 season. The primary impression didn’t maintain up. Meyers Drysdale’s older sister Patty had been the beginning heart on Moore’s championship workforce at Cal State Fullerton after Moore changed a beloved predecessor for her first head teaching job at age 26.

“She didn’t like Billie, so I didn’t like Billie,” Meyers Drysdale stated with fun.

Meyers Drysdale was among the many scores of former gamers who remained shut with Moore lengthy after their careers ended. Coaches from many different sports activities additionally sought her out for recommendation, given her capacity to simplify instructing ideas.

Born on Could 5, 1943, in Westmoreland, Kan., Moore’s early influences included her father, a highschool principal and coach of the boys’ and women’ basketball groups whom she credited for her ardour for the sport.

After getting her begin in teaching as an assistant at Southern Illinois, Moore spent eight seasons at Cal State Fullerton, compiling a 140-15 document, earlier than taking the UCLA job. She went 296-181 in 16 seasons with the Bruins earlier than retiring in 1993 to work as a advisor and camp teacher.

“She set high standards for herself and those who played and worked with her and never took shortcuts or allowed those around her to settle for anything less than their best,” stated Pam Walker, who spent 4 seasons on Moore’s UCLA workers and is now the Bruins’ director of operations. “She was uncompromising in her integrity — that’s how she coached and also how she lived.”

Moore was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Corridor of Fame and the Ladies’s Basketball Corridor of Fame. At her Naismith induction ceremony in 1999, Moore stated coaches solely thrive due to others, thanking Meyers Drysdale and fellow UCLA star Denise Curry as they stood behind her on the stage.

“Someone asked me how I got into the Hall of Fame,” Moore stated earlier than casting a backward look to her gamers, “and I said I think these two ladies standing right here had a lot to do with bringing me into the Hall of Fame.”