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Birt was named First-Team All-State, collected District MVP honors
Third-year mentor led Flames to nation's 12th largest turnaround last season
Click here to find out What They're Saying about Coach Moore
Have a conversation with Head Coach Howard Moore about his vision for UIC Basketball, and you'll come away with one common understanding: he wants to develop a program that is a consistent winner, year-in and year-out. His goal is to build something special.
After two years of building the blocks essential for long-term success, it appears the third-year mentor has his Flames ready to turn the corner. The 10th head coach in the history of the program, Moore grew up on the west side of Chicago, mere blocks from the UIC campus, and attended Taft High School on the northwest side of the city. In his five previous collegiate assistant coaching stops, the 39-year-old Moore utilized the Windy City as his main pipeline for recruiting talent.
The first two seasons of the Howard Moore era have produced impressive wins over in-state rival Illinois, Rhode Island, Evansville and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Detroit. Heading into the 2012-13 campaign, the Flames are poised to produce wins on a much more consistent basis in the Horizon League. UIC is set to return four starters from last year's team, including the highest-scoring returning backcourt in the conference. In all, the Flames will return four-of their top-five scorers from the 2011-12 season.
Among UIC's notable returnees is senior point guard Gary Talton, who chalked up Horizon League All-Newcomer Team honors last season; senior guard Daniel Barnes, an Oak Park, Ill., native that ranked fourth in the Horizon League in made three-pointers in 2011-12; and junior Hayden Humes, a sharp-shooting forward that shot nearly 42 percent (.418) from beyond the three-point arc in his first season with the Flames. Humes scored in double figures in seven of the last nine games of the 2011-12 campaign, and led the Flames in rebounding in 10-of the final 12 contests.
At his introductory press conference, with his family watching on, Moore gave a passionate, emotional and energetic speech regarding his pride for the UIC job, his happiness about being back in Chicago and his vision of championship success for the program's future.
Moore's basketball coaching craft was honed under the tutelage of some of the game's greatest coaches. Stu Jackson. Steve Yoder. Stan Van Gundy. But perhaps what directly prepared Moore for his first head coaching job was the success that was enjoyed by Wisconsin, his alma mater, during a five-year stint on Bo Ryan's staff. With Moore on the bench, UW posted three of the top-five winningest seasons in school history, including an historic 2007-08 campaign that saw the Badgers win a school-record 31 games en route to the Big Ten Conference regular season and tournament championships.
Wisconsin made five-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament during Moore's tenure on staff, winning a total of eight games in the "Big Dance." The memorable 2007-08 run produced a "Sweet 16" berth. With the Badgers, Moore helped coach four All-Big Ten Conference players, and enhanced Wisconsin's recruiting presence in the highly talented Chicagoland region, successfully recruiting four players from the Windy City and its surrounding suburbs.
In his two years at UIC, Moore has also made his loyalty to the city of Chicago well-known -- eight players on the 2012-13 roster hail from the Chicagoland region. He has also been visible in the city, making numerous speaking engagements and appearances -- in December 2010, Moore was presented the Ricky Byrdsong Award at the Union Club of Chicago. The award annually recognizes men who are good fathers, have reached out and made a difference in the lives of youth, and have demonstrated a spiritual dimension to their lives. Additionally, early in the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Moore threw out the first pitch at both Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, and U.S. Cellular Field, home to the Chicago White Sox.
Before joining the staff in Madison, Moore spent one season as an assistant coach under Jim Whitesell at Horizon League foe Loyola in 2004-05. In his brief tenure in Rogers Park, Moore helped the Ramblers win six of their final seven contests and advance to the Horizon League Tournament semifinals. Moore handled off-campus recruiting duties and worked primarily with Loyola's post players during the turnaround season.
In 2003-04, Moore served as an assistant under head coach Tim Buckley at Ball State, where he helped shape the Cardinals into the top three-point field goal percentage defensive team in the Mid-American Conference. Off the court, the Chicago native worked to reel in what many recruiting experts dubbed as the best class in the MAC.
From 2000-03, Moore served as an assistant coach at Bradley University where he worked as a the lead off-campus recruiter and mentor to both the guards and post players. The 2001 recruiting class was one of his best, featuring Danny Granger, who eventually blossomed into a 2009 NBA All-Star as a member of the Indiana Pacers. He also helped mold Phillip Gilbert and James Gillingham into All-Missouri Valley Conference selections. Moore also served as an administrative assistant at Bradley during the 1999-2000 season.
The loyal Chicagoan began his collegiate coaching career in his hometown by serving as an assistant coach at the University of Chicago during the 1998-99 campaign; prior to that, he served as an assistant coach for two years at his alma mater, Taft High School.
Moore played in 47 games for Wisconsin from 1990-95, including 21 appearances as a senior. During his playing career under head coaches Steve Yoder, Stu Jackson and Stan Van Gundy, the Badgers earned back-to-back NIT berths in 1991 and 1992. In 1994, Moore teamed with Michael Finley, Rashard Griffith, Tracy Webster, Andy Kilbride and Brian Kelley to help Wisconsin end a 47-year drought and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1947.
In 1994, Moore represented the Big Ten Conference on a team of league all-stars who were selected to compete in Argentina.
A recipient of the University of Wisconsin African-American Alumni Association Student Leadership Award in 1993, Moore graduated from Wisconsin with a Bachelor's Degree in African-American Studies in 1995. Moore graduated from Taft High School in 1990, guiding his team to the Chicago Public League semifinals as a senior. He was named to the CPL Hall of Fame in 1999.
Moore and his wife, Jennifer, have two children: a son, Jerell, and a daughter, Jaidyn.