The FCA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) committee has presented Kirsten Moore, head coach for the Westmont College’s women’s basketball team, the FCA Kay Yow “Heart of a Coach” Award this month.
“All of us at Fellowship of Christian Athletes are thrilled to honor Westmont College’s women’s basketball coach Kirsten Moore, who has displayed the FCA values of integrity, serving, teamwork, and excellence throughout her career,” said Shane Williamson, FCA President and CEO. “The greatest influence in an athlete’s life is the coach, and there is no greater calling for Christ-following coaches than to influence their players for Jesus.”
Named for the late North Carolina State coaching icon Kay Yow, the “Heart of a Coach” Award is presented annually by FCA to honor a basketball coach who has exemplified biblical principles over the course of his or her career. Kay Yow, who passed away from breast cancer in 2009, was presented with the inaugural award at the 2008 Women’s Final Four in Tampa.
The 2022-23 season is Kirsten Moore’s 19th season as head coach of the Westmont Warriors. In 2020-21, Moore led the program to its second National Championship. For her efforts, Moore was named National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Coach of the Year for the second time in her career.
“Honestly, I just consider it a privilege to coach these young women every day,” said Moore. “They teach me and inspire me. My overwhelming feeling is gratitude toward their willingness to trust me. It is a daily process of trying to maintain our hope, to continue to increase our faith, and to choose to love one another through thick and thin.
“I would describe myself as encouraging, positive, competitive, passionate about the game and passionate about people,” continued Moore. “I want my players to grow deeper in their relationship to God and to see in a very practical sense how that applies to their athletics, their academics and their future job and family.”
Moore was named 2012-13 NAIA Coach of the Year after leading her team to the program’s first ever National Championship. Her Warriors went 30-4 on the season and won the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season championship with a perfect 14-0 record in Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) play.
In the 2019-20 season, Westmont (27-3) entered the NAIA National Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for the first time in program history, but the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Warriors were credited with their 10th straight National Tournament appearance and finished the season as the NAIA’s top-ranked team.
Westmont won the 2019-20 GSAC regular season championship with a 17-1 record, before extending its conference record of consecutive GSAC Tournament titles to five. Throughout the season, the Warriors won five games against teams ranked in the top-6 in the NAIA. Moore was named GSAC Coach of the Year for the sixth time and was also selected as the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table College Athletics Coach of the Year.
In total, Moore’s teams have appeared in four national semifinals, six national quarterfinals, and seven Round of 16’s. She has led the program to all six of its GSAC regular season championships and all six of its GSAC Tournament titles.
She has coached 30 of the program’s 34 players to receive All-American honors. The Warriors’ four GSAC Player of the Year honorees and 36 of the program’s 43 All-GSAC performers have played under Moore’s leadership.
Past winners of the FCA Kay Yow “Heart of a Coach” Award include Kay Yow, North Carolina State (2008); Jane Alrbight, Nevada (2009); Nancy Wilson, College of Charleston (2010); Sue Ramsey, Ashland (2011); Deb Patterson, Kansas State (2012); Sue Semrau, Florida State (2013); Kristy Curry, Alabama (2014); Matt Bollant, Illinois (2015); Kirk Martin, Cedarville (2016); Julie Goodenough, Abilene Christian (2017); Lynn Plett, University of Colorado Springs (2018); Carey Green, Liberty University (2019); Cori Close, UCLA (2020); and Charlotte Smith, Elon University (2022).
Photos courtesy of Westmont Athletics