Wes Moore becomes 10th head coach in program history
April 26, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Wes Moore, who led the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to an unprecedented 11-straight Southern Conference regular season championships as well as eight NCAA Tournament berths in the last 12 campaigns, has been named the 10th head coach of the East Carolina University women's basketball program, according to an announcement by director of athletics Terry Holland Monday.
Moore directly succeeds Sharon Baldwin-Tener, who accepted the head coaching position at Georgia State University earlier this month.
"Initially, I was interested in the position since my wife is from Jamesville, which is less than an hour away from Greenville," Moore stated. "Then, after visiting campus and meeting with several people, it was great to see their eagerness and excitement about Pirate athletics. Sharon did a fantastic job with this program and left it in great shape. It is extremely exciting to inherit a team that was so successful last season and has so much talent.
"It is hard to leave a program that you have built over 12 seasons, but the people at ECU have been so receptive to my ideas and the direction I want to steer this program. It also doesn't hurt that there will be familiar faces that were at Chattanooga with me before in Mack McCarthy, Jeff Lebo and Donnie Kirkpatrick."
The Executive Committee of the ECU Board of Trustees, acting for the full board, formally approved the appointment of Moore and the outline of his contract in a conference call meeting Monday afternoon. He will be introduced to the media at a 4:00 p.m. press conference Tuesday.
"Coach Moore's accomplishments as a women's basketball head coach are in one word, `phenomenal'," Holland said. "His teams have been winners on the floor at every level - Division I, Division II and Division III - but more importantly his players have been winners in the classroom and in the community. There is only one other NCAA basketball coach in men's or women's Basketball, who can match Coach Moore's eleven-consecutive regular season conference championships and that is women's head coach Geno Auriemma at Connecticut. Coach Moore and his wife, Linda, will be tremendous assets to the ECU and greater Greenville communities."
With a 490-141 overall record, the best of any current Southern Conference head coach, Moore also ranks eighth among all NCAA women's basketball head coaches in winning percentage at .777. He became the first league coach to reach the 100-win plateau in conference games and currently holds a 193-31 record in SoCon play. Additionally, Chattanooga has not lost consecutive conference contests since the 2001-02 season. Moore will leave UTC as the winningest coach in Lady Mocs history with a 12-year record of 290-85.
Moore's 50- and 100-win milestones at Chattanooga happened faster than any other Lady Mocs coach. He reached victory No. 100 in just 140 games when Chattanooga topped College of Charleston 85-75 Feb. 3, 2003. He won No. 50 in his 75th game, a 78-60 victory over Davidson Jan. 20, 2000.
Over the past 12 seasons, the Lady Mocs have had eight Southern Conference Players-of-the-Year, seven league tournament MVPs, 28 all-conference selections and 28 all-tournament honorees. Last season, senior forward Shanara Hollenquest was named the league's player-of-the-year for the second-straight campaign. Moore has also been named Southern Conference Coach-of-the-Year five times in the past 12 seasons.
Two-time SoCon Player-of-the-Year Alex Anderson was drafted by the WNBA in 2008 as the 39th pick of the San Antonio Silver Stars. Teammate Laura Hall, an all-conference athlete, was also invited by the league's Connecticut Sun to participate in camp tryouts.
During Moore's tenure, Chattanooga continually ranked among the nation's leaders in average home attendance. All of the Lady Mocs' top 20 attended games have occurred with him at the helm, including two from the 2005-06 campaign. The largest crowd to watch the Lady Mocs filed into Mackenzie Arena when Tennessee came to town and 10,051 fans nearly filled the venue to capacity. That currently ranks as the 11th-largest crowd to ever watch a Chattanooga men's or women's basketball home game. The two NCAA Tournament games UTC hosted in 2004 averaged nearly 7,000 fans each contest.
Chattanooga held the nation's longest winning streak three times under Moore's watch. During the 2003-04 campaign, the Lady Mocs compiled a school-record 27-game win streak that began at Thanksgiving and included a NCAA Tournament upset win over seventh-seeded Rutgers. In 2005-06, Chattanooga nearly matched that feat with 26-straight wins - picking up victories over Auburn, UAB, Middle Tennessee and Stephen F. Austin along the way. Two seasons ago, the Lady Mocs kicked off their run to the NCAA Tournament with a win over Alabama before running past Weber State and Miami (Ohio) in the UTSA New Year's Classic and producing an undefeated Southern Conference ledger (18-0).
Over the past seven years, Chattanooga has made waves on the national front by receiving votes in two national polls. In the 2005-06 campaign, the Lady Mocs climbed as high as 26th in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll and 30th in the Associated Press Poll.
The Lady Mocs hold 11 Southern Conference records, including the top seven spots in single-season wins, the top four for 3-pointers made in a game and the top seven for three-point field goals converted in a season. His 1998-99 squad finished sixth in the country, averaging seven three-point field goals per game while making a then school-record 188 three-point shots.
Moore, the third women's basketball coach in the program's 32-year history, was named the Lady Mocs' leader April 30, 1998, and with little preparation time before the season, guided Chattanooga to a 10-17 record and a tie for seventh-place in the conference standings.
Before taking his first Division I head-coaching job at UTC, Moore had great success owning a 200-56 record and making seven national tournament appearances in nine years as a head coach at the Division II and III levels.
Moore arrived in Chattanooga from Francis Marion University, where he guided the Patriots to a 69-20 overall mark in three years. In his final season, FMU went 30-3, advanced to the Division II Final Four and was ranked fifth in the final 1997-98 USA Today/WBCA Top 25 poll. That FMU squad also captured the Peach Belt Athletic Conference and South Atlantic Region tournament championships.
In his first year at Francis Marion, Moore took a Patriot squad that was 11-15 the season before and led it to an 18-9 record and a second-place showing during the conference regular season. He was named Peach Belt Athletic Conference Coach-of-the-Year for his efforts. The following season (1996-97), he guided FMU to a 21-8 record and another second-place finish in the Peach Belt. He also guided the Patriots to their first-ever NCAA Division II national tournament appearance. Student-athletes recruited by Moore captured two Peach Belt Athletic Conference Freshman-of-the-Year accolades, garnered five all-conference spots and received one Player-of-the-Year Award.
Prior to his time at Francis Marion, Moore served as an assistant coach at North Carolina State for two years under the late Kay Yow - an East Carolina alumna. During that time, the Wolfpack earned a record of 34-24 and made an appearance in the Sweet 16.
Before his two seasons at N.C. State, Moore turned in a six-year stint as head coach at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn. There, he won 78 percent of his games (131-36) and took the Lady Scots to five NCAA Division III national tournaments, including the Division III Sweet 16. In his first campaign at Maryville, Moore took a program that was 3-47 the two previous years and tied the then-school record for wins in a single season with 15. He was named the Converse/WBCA District 5 Coach of the Year in 1990, 1992 and 1993. In 1993, he was one of eight finalists for National Coach-of-the-Year.
Moore also spent three seasons (1984-87) as a men's assistant coach at Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, Tenn. He has been a motivational and instructional speaker at various coaching clinics, banquets and basketball camps and was the director of the Kay Yow Basketball Camp at N.C. State in 1994.
Moore earned a B.S. degree in religion from Johnson Bible College and both B.S. and M.S. degrees in physical education from the University of Tennessee. As a point guard at JBC, Moore helped his team to one conference championship and a sixth-place finish at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament. During his playing career, he earned all-conference and all-tournament honors.
Moore is married to the former Linda Hardison of Jamesville, N.C.