Westmont’s Moore soars to 500th career victory

Westmont's John Moore

Westmont’s John Moore cuts down the net after one of his 500 career coaching victories.  (Brad Elliott/Westmont Photo)

At this altitude, the air thins …

Yes, 500-wins is at a ‘stratospheric’ level of coaching achievement!

And for Westmont College’s John Moore, who just attained the magical 500-win milestone with the Warriors’ 87-59 victory over Menlo last night, well, it’s when you call a quick timeout to take it all in, that you realize “the numbers” — though incredibly impressive — are not the true measure of success here.

The ever-humble Moore, 60, is a man of deep faith, living his “dream job” …

“John is a fierce competitor and always strives to bring out the best in his players,” says Gayle Beebe, Westmont President.

The Westmont Connection first started as a player in the 1970s …

As the spirited playmaker for Cypress JC, he would meet someone who would change his life — a new Warrior coach, looking for just the right ingredients to re-build a program back to prominence after a couple of, well, off years.

Sharing “Indiana basketball bloodlines” helped, but what caught this coach’s keen eye was something special he could see on the court …

“As a player, John was the man who was the engine — the leader who had the most impact that affected winning,” says Chet Kammerer, then Westmont coach, now local icon and NBA Miami Heat executive.

“And if there was one player who helped turn the program around for us back then – it was John Moore,” he stated.

“I played against him back then and he was tenacious!” adds Ben Howland, whose own hoop dreams started locally at the Goleta Boys (& Girls) Club.

“John’s teams now play that same way – tough, smart and they never beat themselves … John is a credit to the coaching profession and is known as a hard worker his whole career.”

“I get to coach the kind of kids I love coaching,” Moore says. “They’ve been well coached before and they have no egos.”

He launched his career just after his Westmont graduation (’78), as an assistant coach for Santa Barbara City College legend, Coach Frank Carbajal. There have been other stops along the way and since 1993 — it’s been all Westmont.

[John Moore’s coaching Bio]

In his 27 years of coaching, Moore has earned an overall record of 500-301, with 421 of those wins coming in the last 22 years at Westmont.


This award is made possible by American Riviera Bank

This award is made possible by American Riviera Bank

Each Month, Presidio Sports recognizes a local sports figure
for their extraordinary contribution to the Santa Barbara
athletic community. It is our way to recognize those who
are making a lasting impact in our sports community,
whether it is an inspirational athletic performance,
a lifetime achievement award, or perhaps a great
example of leadership.

And with his 500th win, there’s no shortage of tributes and accolades:

“John is a tremendous asset to our community. He is a very dedicated educator, who cares deeply about Westmont College and the welfare of the student-athlete. He is an outstanding coach and a wonderful mentor for the young. I am proud to know John and he has been an inspiration to me in many ways.”

    — Gary Cunningham, John Wooden Disciple, longtime coach & now UCSB Interim AD

“John has had quite a legacy – what he cares more about than the wins – is having positive influence on young men. He’s competitive on the court and has a compassionate heart off the court. He is a joy to work with – we help each other – and he has been sooo supportive! I met him years ago, working at one of the (Steve) Lavin (Basketball) Camps and he is one of the reasons – if not THE reason, why I am here at Westmont.”

    — Kirsten Moore (no relation), now in her 10th year as Warrior Head Women’s Coach

“John is a Westmont success story. He, self admittedly, would say he came to Westmont in the 1970’s with a lot of growing up to do. And grow he did, from a basketball star reluctant to embrace the Westmont ethos to a champion for athletics in a Christian, Liberal Arts setting. It is clear that John has a deep love for his guys. He sees in them, himself a generation earlier. He is all about developing the whole person and that basketball is just part of that development. The wins that John’s teams have achieved under his leadership are a reflection of all of this.”

    — Dave Odell,  fellow Westmont grad & Warrior AD

“What a legacy John Moore has created at Westmont and 500 wins is an awesome accomplishment, but what is even more impressive is the quality of coaching and the character development he provides to his team and his students. Thank you and congratulations, Coach, all of us with the Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable are so proud to have you in our midst!”

   — Laurie Meyn Leighty, Community leader & SBART President

“John Moore is a master coach – probably has as good a perspective, on what I call the ‘Art and Science of Coaching’ that I have ever seen. He is the best at touching people’s lives and having a positive impact. He’s brilliant and could be highly successful on any level. He runs The Princeton Offense and has become an expert and has even reinvented it — his teams even play it in an attack mode. I have the utmost respect for him as a coach — and even higher regard as a person, a husband, a father and a friend. He is a special guy.”

   — Bob Williams, Men’s Basketball Coach, UCSB

“Coach really cares about developing our players – it’s more than basketball — he helps them develop into young men. Plus, nearly all earn their college degrees and in these days of ‘one & done’ — that really says something special about him and the Warrior Program.”

   — Jeff Azain, fellow Westmont grad & longtime Warrior Assistant Hoops Coach

“The most remarkable part is that 500 wins puts him in rare company when you look at the history of basketball — and it’s really good to see someone who is such an exemplary person to have such great success in this business.”

    — Steve Lavin, Men’s Basketball Coach, St. John’s (NY) University & brother-in-law


Coach Moore gives a big “assist” to his loving, supportive family: (l-r) wife, Rachel and daughters Jessica and Jacqueline — all ready for the holidays.

“I’m not surprised at all about his success. Success is your ability to relate to your players — he did that as a player and does that as a coach. John is unique and that is huge in success. And he is one of the kindest and most gracious men I know. There’s a very caring way about him – that’s what attracts people to him.”

     — Chet Kammerer, coach, life mentor & special friend


Coach Moore gives MVP kudos “to three of the precious loves of my life, Rachel, my wife, and Jacqueline and Jessica, my daughters.”  

Presidio Sports celebrates and congratulates Coach John Moore for achieving this very significant professional 500-victory coaching milestone … for his much-valued contributions to the greater Santa Barbara community … and for having a profound, positive impact on nurturing many young lives, in the unique and incredible way that he does, everyday …