Thirty-five years after graduating from Cypress College in Southern California, Westmont men’s basketball head coach John Moore returned to his alma mater and was recognized as the Cypress College 2011 Outstanding Alumnus.
He was honored at the school’s graduation ceremony.
“It is a huge honor because of what Cypress College has grown to mean to me,” said Moore. “It meant a great deal to me while I was there, but it has greatly surpassed the impressions I initially had coming out of Cypress. It is one of the finest community colleges in the state. They have a great deal of history with teachers who have stayed for a long period of time — which is like our community college here in Santa Barbara. ”
Moore’s introduction to Cypress College in 1974 was considerably less ceremonious.
“It was an ironic and strange beginning to my experience at Cypress,” said Moore. “I went to visit the coaching staff — Don Johnson and Jack Long — and I went only because my best friend from high school, Glen Myers, was being recruited. I had already been away (from basketball) for a year and I was going to go to UCLA to finish my college education.
“Sitting in the office, Don and Jack’s complete focus was on Glen. I was the uninvited guest. So, Glen graciously said at one point, ‘My friend John Moore might be interested in playing basketball here as well’. I’ll never forget Don’s comment. He turned to me and said, ‘Well, John, we don’t know much about you’. It was a very humble start to my career at Cypress.”
Moore went on to have a stellar career at the community college during the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons. He later was inducted into the Cypress Athletic Hall of Fame. Following his two years at Cypress, Moore was recruited by Chet Kammerer to play at Westmont.
In nominating his former player for the Outstanding Alumnus Award, Johnson called Moore, “THE most inspirational athlete in Cypress College basketball history.”
“John became the role model for future players,” wrote Johnson. “He was the essence of the ‘TSU’ (tough, smart, unselfish) athlete. John’s loyalty to Cypress College is, in my mind, unsurpassed. He feels his position in life today is a direct result of the transformation process that occurred here.”
“It was an evening ceremony that was really well done,” said Moore of the graduation event. “They honored some board members, but most of all they honored their students.”
Moore was joined at the graduation exercises by his wife, Rachel, his daughter, Jessica, his mother, Pat, his sister and niece, Don and Claudette Johnson and several other friends.