Billie Moore, the longtime UCLA women’s basketball coach who also was a key figure in raising the visibility of the sport nationally and internationally, died Dec. 14 at the age of 79 at her home in Fullerton, California, after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma.
Moore was a woman of immense integrity and she was recognized as a champion for women in sports. Pam Walker, who coached alongside her in the early 1990s and is currently the team’s director of basketball operations, called her “a true trailblazer and pioneer of Title IX.”
Moore, the Bruins’ coach from 1977 to 1993, led the team to an AIAW national championship in 1978. She still holds the program record for most wins with 296. Counting her tenure at Cal State Fullerton, where she coached prior to UCLA, Moore amassed an overall record of 436-196. On Feb. 22, 1991, when the Bruins defeated the University of Oregon in Eugene, Moore became just the eighth women’s Division I college basketball coach to reach the 400-victory plateau.
She also was the head coach for the first-ever U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team, leading the squad in the 1976 Montreal Games.
“It is hard to put into the words the depth of Billie Moore’s impact,” said Cori Close, the Michael Price Family UCLA Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “I am keenly aware that I get to walk on the trail that Billie Moore blazed. A truly remarkable life well lived.”