Billie Moore
Billie Moore 1993.jpg
Biographical details
Born (1943-05-05) May 5, 1943 (age 79)
Humansville, Missouri
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1969–1977Cal State Fullerton
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
2 AIAW National (1970, 1978)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1999
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medal record
Women’s Basketball
Assistant Coach for  United States
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1975 Mexico City Team Competition
Assistant Coach for  United States
World University Games
Silver medal – second place 1973 Moscow Team Competition
Head Coach for  United States
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1976 Montreal Team Competition

Billie Jean Moore (born May 5, 1943)[1] is an American basketball coach. She was the first coach in women's basketball history to lead teams from two different schools to national championships. She coached California State-Fullerton team from 1969 to 1977 (she won the AIAW national title in 1970 in her first year with the team) and UCLA team from 1977 to 1993 (winning the AIAW national title in 1978).[2] Her overall college coaching record is 436-196.[3]


Moore was born in Humansville, Missouri. Her family later lived in several places in neighboring Kansas before settling in Westmoreland.[4]: 127  Despite the fact that her father had been a coach of both boys and girls basketball in Westmoreland, the family moved to Topeka, where Moore did not play basketball for her high school because the school was too small to sponsor any athletic teams.[2] However, she was invited to play for an industrial team sponsored by Ohse Meats Company.[5] Moore started her coaching experience as an assistant at Southern Illinois University where she pursued her master's degree. In addition to basketball, she played softball for the Raybestos Brakettes, with Lou Albrecht,[6] who was the women's basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton. Albrecht left that position and recommended Moore for an interview. Moore was hired as women's basketball coach and athletic director.[7] In her first year as coach, her team would go on to win the national championship.[7] Moore coached teams would make it to the Final Four in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1978, and 1979.[8]

While the USA had competed in International events such as Jones Cup, World University Games, Pan American Games and World Championships, the Olympics focuses attention like no other event.[9] Team member Juliene Simpson would explain, "Up until then, many people didn't know we had national teams playing in international competition. After the Olympics, that changed quite a bit."[10] In 1976, the Olympics decided to add women's basketball to the list of sports. Billie Moore, who had been the assistant coach of the 1975 USA Women's Pan American Team which won the gold medal in Mexico,[11] was selected to be the first head coach of the first USA team. Moore coached the US Olympic women's basketball team to a silver medal in Montreal Olympics.[2]

After her Olympic coaching experience, Moore was hired at UCLA to coach the basketball team. In her first year, the team finished 27–3 and won the AIAW Women's Basketball Tournament.[7] UCLA beat Maryland 90–74 in front of over 9,000 fans—at that time, the largest crowd ever to see a women's championship game.[12]

Moore was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in the same year.[13][14] Moore received the Naismith's Women's Outstanding Contribution Award in 2002.[7]

Moore is the author of Basketball, theory and practice.[15]

USA Basketball

Moore was named the assistant coach of the team representing the US at the World University Games held in Moscow, Soviet Union in August 1973. The event, also called the Universiade, is the eighth event to have women's basketball, but the first in which the USA participated. The USA team was assigned to the same preliminary round group as the Soviet team, and drew them as their first opponent. The game was not close, as the USSR defeated the USA 92–43. The USA went on to defeat France and Mexico. Their 2–1 record qualified them for the medal round, but the rules of the competition carried the preliminary round results into the medal round, so they could not afford another loss. They won their next three games, all by single digit margins, against Bulgaria, Romania and Cuba. That performance qualified the USA team for the gold medal game, but it matched them up against undefeated USSR. While the game was closer, the Soviets were much too strong and won 82–44 to claim the gold. The USA team earned a silver medal in their first ever World University Games competition.[16]

Moore was named to the coaching staff on the USA National Team as an assistant coach in 1975. Because the World Championships and the Pan American Games were scheduled only eight days apart, USA basketball put together a squad of players and coaches for both events. The World Championship was help in Cali, Colombia at the end of September through early October. The USA team had a disappointing result finishing 4–3 and missing the medal rounds. In the opening game, the USA lost by two points to Japan. They bounced back to beat Australia, but then faced Czechoslovakia and lost by a single point. This relegated the team to the consolation rounds, where the team won three of four, losing only to Canada, and finishing in eighth place.[17]

The USA Basketball team had had success in the Pan American games with gold medals in 1955,1959, and 1963, but had come in second place in both 1967 and 1971. In 1975, the team was determined to win the gold, and Billie Jean Moore was named assistant coach. One of the leading players on the Pan American team was Lusia Harris, whose Delta State team had beaten Immaculata in the 1975 Championship game, and would do so again in 1976. There were other notable players on the team, such as Pat Head (Summitt), Ann Meyers and others, as well as a 17-year-old high school player, Nancy Lieberman.[18]

The games were originally planned for Chile, then Brazil when Chile withdrew the offer to host, and then Mexico City, where they were eventually held in October. The USA's team first opponent was Mexico, a team that finished ahead of the US at the World Championships, and would end up the silver medal winning in this competition. The USA team beat them 99–65, setting a tone for the event. The USA next beat Canada 75–56. They followed that game with a convincing 116–28 victory over El Salvador. Their following game against Cuba was the only close game, with the USA winning by six points 70–64. The USA team then went on to defeat the Dominican Republic 99–50, and Columbia 74–48. This set up the final with Brazil. The team from Brazil had beaten the USA team in the prior three Pan American competitions, and had won the gold medal in two of them. This time, the USA team won easily 74–55, earning the gold medal for the first time in twelve years.[18]



  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 22 Sep 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Skaine 2001, p. 134
  3. ^ Skaine 2001, p. 135
  4. ^ Hawkes, Nena Ray; Seggar, John F. (2000). Celebrating Women Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 126–130. ISBN 0313309124.
  5. ^ Porter 2005, p. 336
  6. ^ "BRAKETTES ALL-TIME ROSTER". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
  7. ^ a b c d Porter 2005, p. 337
  8. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  9. ^ Grundy 2005, p. 167
  10. ^ Grundy 2005, p. 169
  11. ^ "SEVENTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1975". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 2010-01-03. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  12. ^ "No. 1 For The Wizardess Of Westwood". Sports Illustrated. April 1978. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  13. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  14. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  15. ^ Moore
  16. ^ "EIGHTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES -- 1973". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  17. ^ "SEVENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 1975". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Seventh Pan American Games -- 1975". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.