Quite simply one of the most successful basketball coaches in NCAA Division III history, Steve Moore has amassed a 35-year career record of 779-224, including an extraordinary mark of 692-159 the past 29 seasons at The College of Wooster, which puts him No. 3 in wins among Div. III coaches all-time.
The winningest coach at Wooster’s tradition-rich program, Moore has directed the Fighting Scots to 24 NCAA Tournament berths and a league-high 17 North Coast Athletic Conference championships, while compiling a winning percentage of .813.
Wooster’s recent stretch has been most impressive, as they’ve won 25 or more games 11 times over the last 18 seasons, highlighted by advancing to the national championship game and winning a team-record 31 games (31-3) during 2010-11. The Scots also reached the semifinals of the NCAA Div. III Championships in the 2002-03 and 2006-07 seasons, posting 30 wins in the former (30-3), and also of note, they’ve made it to the sectional round (“Sweet 16”) 10 years since 1998-99 (also doing so in 1998-99, 1999-00, 2003-04, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2015-16).
Moore came to Wooster just prior to the 1987-88 season, and his presence resulted in an immediate and dramatic impact on the program. Despite inheriting a team that had finished 8-18 the year before, Moore quickly transformed the Scots back into a winner. Wooster improved to 14-11 the very next year – the first of 29 consecutive winning seasons – including an average of 23 wins per year during the 1990s.
For his efforts, Moore has been named NCAC Coach of the Year on eight occasions (1990-91, 1991-92, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2013-14) and the NABC District Coach of the Year for the Great Lakes five times (1990-91, 1999-00, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2009-10). Also following the 2002-03 season, he was voted the Ohio College Basketball Coach of the Year, an annual recognition coordinated and sponsored by the Columbus Dispatch, and in April 2008, the NABC presented him a prestigious “Guardian of the Game” award for education, an honor also once bestowed to the legendary John Wooden.
Moore, 64, has had the magic touch throughout his coaching career, as he owns a career win percentage of .777, ranking him No. 3 in that category all-time (min. 10 years) in Division III.
Prior to coming to Wooster, Moore guided Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., to successive Middle Atlantic Conference titles in the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons. Other highlights for Moore during his time with the Mules included leading Muhlenberg to its first 20-win season in 40 years in 1985-86 and being selected as the MAC Southern Division Coach of the Year in 1983.
From 1976-81, Moore served as an assistant coach at his alma mater – Wittenberg University. During that five-year period, he helped lead the Tigers to four regular season Ohio Athletic Conference championships, two OAC Tournament titles, and a national championship in 1977.
A native of Monroeville, Ohio, Moore was a standout on Wittenberg’s basketball team in the early 1970s. The three-year letterwinner was part of three-straight OAC championship teams, including 1974 when he was a team captain and the starting point guard.
Following graduation from Wittenberg in 1974, he earned a master’s degree in physical education from Ohio University in 1976, while serving as a graduate assistant coach in basketball for the Bobcats.
In addition to all his success on the court, Moore served a four-year term on the prestigious NCAA rules committee, is a member of the NABC Congress, and served on the NABC ethics committee, and the Wooster basketball program holds several community service initiatives each year. Included among those are basketball skills’ clinics for local youth, fundraisers for Coaches vs. Cancer as well as encouraging fans to donate food and clothing in lieu of admission at its two annual tournaments, which benefits People-to-People ministry and Goodwill Industries, and participation in the NABC Dream to Read program with local elementary schools.
Steve and his wife, Jane, reside in Wooster, and have two daughters – Beth and Emily – and four grandchildren – Grace, Jack, Gwen, and Beau. Notable, Beth and Emily are 2003 and 2005 Wooster graduates, respectively, and both were former student-athletes with the former being a four-year starter on the Scots’ volleyball team and the latter running on the cross country and track teams.