KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kirsten Moore, head women's basketball coach at Westmont (Calif.), has been honored as the recipient of the NAIA-Citizenship Through Sports Alliance (CTSA) "All that's Right in Sport" Award, one of the National Sportsmanship Awards awarded by the National Sportsmanship Foundation.
Produced annually by the St. Louis (Mo.) Sports Commission, the National Sportsmanship Awards honor extraordinary examples of class and character by athletes and coaches across the nation.
Moore unexpectedly lost her husband just a month before giving birth to their only child in June 2012. She met with her team in August and told them she would continue as coach. After starting 8-1, the team suffered the two worst losses in program history in December. Westmont regrouped and won 17 in a row en route to an unbeaten record in Golden State Athletic Conference play and the conference's regular season crown. After losing in the conference tournament championship game, The Warriors received an at-large bid to the NAIA National Championship. They won five games in six days to earn their first national title.
"It's a story of triumph over tragedy," said Ron Smith, Westmont sports information director, who wrote the nomination.
"When the team faced humiliating defeats in December, their coach's attitude and resilience caused them to respond with self-examination and determination. These young women who saw Moore day-in and day-out were forever changed by her grace and courage. As the story spread, Coach Moore received numerous emails from people across the country who were encouraged in the midst of their own devastating situations. She never shrank from telling the story. As a result, she showed all that you can choose to do the right thing in the most trying circumstances."
The award will be presented Nov. 9, 2013 in St. Louis as part of the Musial Awards, which recognizes the greatest moments and stories of sportsmanship from around the country.