Billie Moore, legendary women’s basketball coach, dies at 79

Billie Moore, the historic women’s basketball coach who won national championships with two different schools, died Wednesday of cancer, UCLA announced. She was 79 years old.

The university reports that she died at her home in Fullerton, Calif., surrounded by friends and family following a “long battle with multiple myeloma.”

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. She also served as head coach of the first-ever women’s Olympic basketball team in the United States. United States, which won the silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

FILE — Billie Moore in July 1976 while coaching the Olympic women’s basketball team.

ABC Photo Archive/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Moore began her coaching career as an assistant at Southern Illinois, according to the Associated Press, then spent eight seasons as head coach at Cal State Fullerton, where she went 140-15, before moving on. move to UCLA.

She was at UCLA for 16 seasons, from 1977 to 1993. She holds the school record for most wins by a women’s basketball coach, with 296.

She totaled 436 wins as a collegiate head coach, and in 1991 became just the eighth Division I women’s head coach to win 400 games, UCLA said.

“The depth of Billie Moore’s impact is hard to put into words,” Cori Close, the current UCLA women’s basketball head coach, said in a statement. “I’m fully aware that I can walk the trail that Billie Moore has blazed. A truly remarkable life well lived.”

Moore was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. She was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 2000.

USA Basketball tweeted Thursday that he was “proud to have been a part of (Moore’s) journey. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.”

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