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Legendary former UCLA women’s basketball coach dies at 79

Former UCLA women’s basketball coach Billie Moore died Thursday in her home, the Bruins announced in a press release. Moore was 79.

Moore coached the Bruins 16 seasons, from 1977-93, and still holds the program record for career victories by a women’s basketball coach with 296. She led UCLA to a AIAW national championship in 1978, becoming the first women’s basketball coach in history to lead two different schools to national championships. Previously, before coaching at UCLA, Moore compiled a 140-15 record at Cal State Fullerton, including eight conference titles and her first national title, in 1970.

She posted a 436-196 (.690) record in her career and was enshrined in the class of 1999 in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

‘It is hard to put into the words the depth of Billie Moore’s impact,’ current UCLA women’s basketball coach Cori Close said in a statement. ‘I am keenly aware that I get to walk on the trail that Billie Moore blazed. A truly remarkable life well lived.’

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USA Basketball posted a message Thursday from their verified Twitter account, eulogizing Moore.

‘USA Basketball honors the life & legacy of Billie Moore, who was the first U.S. Olympic Women’s coach in 1976 & led the USA to a silver medal,’ the tweet read. ‘Her storied career spanned 4 decades. We are proud to have been part of her journey. Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this time.’

Moore was a native of Westmoreland, Kansas. She is credited with helping develop players like Pat Summitt, Ann Meyers Drysdale and Nancy Lieberman.

According to the Bruins release, Summit, who passed away in June 2016, was quoted as saying: ‘Billie Moore has had more influence on my coaching career than anyone. She was my mentor. She’s had a huge impact on my coaching style.’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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