Billie Moore, who coached the first U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team to silver in 1976, died at age 79.
Moore died of complications from a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to UCLA, where she coached from 1977-93.
While coaching Cal State Fullerton, Moore was an assistant coach for the U.S. national team in the early 1970s and then elevated to head coach for women’s basketball’s Olympic debut in Montreal in 1976.
Moore led a team that included future Basketball Hall of Famers Lusia Harris, Pat Summitt (then Pat Head), Nancy Lieberman and Ann Meyers to a 3-2 record in a round-robin tournament. The Soviet Union took gold ahead of the U.S. with a 5-0 record, extending its undefeated run in major international play dating to 1958.
Moore left Fullerton for UCLA in 1977. She won the national title in her first season at each school, becoming the first coach to lead two different women’s teams to national championships.
She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Our great game sadly lost a legend today in Billie Moore…..thank you coach for servicing our game with class, dignity and purpose. May your soul rest with God. Godspeed to her family, friend, loved ones and the basketball community. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) December 15, 2022