Behind every great team, there is always a great leader, and for Westmont’s women’s basketball team, that leader is Kirsten Moore. This year, Coach Moore celebrates 15 years at Westmont College. Throughout her tenure, she has received an array of accolades, such as NAIA Coach of the Year in 2012 after bringing the team to win the National Championship that same year.
Coach Moore said that her mission “is to build trusting relationships with my players that go deep enough to challenge and inspire them to grow spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and athletically. I would say my core value in coaching is love. That came right from Jesus when he boiled down the commandments to love God and love others.”
The lives of all the students she has touched throughout her coaching career show she has accomplished her mission.
Junior Iyree Jarrett said that Coach Moore “enforces valuable lessons that will extend into life outside basketball. She always encourages us whether that’s with basketball, academics, faith or our mental health.”
Jarrett was inspired by how “Coach Moore will even do our really tough lifting workouts with us. To me, that says volumes about her leadership, hard work, and discipline.”
“She has definitely impacted my Westmont experience in such an amazing way because of how much she cares.”
Gabby Stoll, a junior, agreed with Jarrett about Moore’s caring personality.
“Last year was a rough tear for our team, we had nine players total … Coach Moore really helped us get through everything we were struggling with that year. She constantly had us meet as a group to take some time and connect with each other.”
Junior Stefanie Berberabe described Moore as enthusiastic, selfless and disciplined, but, more than anything, she says that Moore is passionate.
“She is honestly one of the most genuine individuals who I’ve been so blessed to have encountered in my life.”
Berberabe continued,“On the court you can already tell she is passionate because her love for the game is so strong and she loves to build the character of her players, and also is so dedicated to making our team successful.”
“I’m sure it’s been hard for her to have to stay 6 ft apart from everyone and not give them a big hug.”
Moore has made the most of her time with her players and Lauren Tsuneishi has been blessed to be alongside Moore for her entire college career.
Tsuneishi described Coach Moore as “a true warrior: gritty, determined, and resilient.” But, most importantly, Tsuneishi describes Moore as hopeful.
“She’s had people joke around her and call her the ‘eternal optimist,’ but her positive attitude is beyond optimism.”
Tsuneishi added, “I remember I had a conversation with her this summer about this, and something she emphasized was how important it is to put our hope in things that cannot be shaken, even when things seem like they are falling all around us.”
With her grit softened by care, determination amplified by optimism, and resilience coupled with passion, Moore has inspired her team and the school. In this season of uncertainty, one thing remains constant, and that is Coach Moore’s ability to touch the lives around her, even when she’s not on the court.