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Xavier turns to Melanie Moore to rebuild women's basketball program

Michigan assistant gets first head coaching job
Posted at 2:17 AM, Apr 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-06 02:28:02-04

CINCINNATI — Not long ago, Xavier women’s basketball was a powerhouse, reaching the NCAA Tournament nine times in 13 years – including two Elite Eights - between 1999 and 2011.

Xavier went 349-151 – a .700 record - in those 13 seasons under coaches Melanie Balcomb and Kevin McGuff.

But the program has fallen on hard times since then – a losing record of 97-144 (.400) and no NCAA appearances in the past eight seasons.

Now Xavier is giving Melanie Moore her first head coaching job in hopes of rebuilding it.

Moore comes from seven years as an assistant at Michigan, where she was associate head coach last season. Xavier will hold an introductory press conference on Tuesday.

"We couldn't be happier to announce Melanie as our next women's basketball coach," Athletics Director Greg Christopher said in a release. "After talking with Melanie over the last week and hearing her vision to move our program forward, it became clear that she would be a perfect fit at Xavier.

"Melanie brings a great blend of experience to Xavier. She was an accomplished collegiate player who played professionally. And in 17 years of coaching, Melanie's been a part of rebuilding programs and high-level success."

With Moore serving under head coach Kim Barnes Arico, Michigan advanced to postseason play in all seven seasons, including three NCAA Tournaments. The Wolverines also recorded 20 or more wins in each season.

"I am truly honored and humbled to be the next leader for Xavier women's basketball," said Moore, an assistant coach at five colleges since 2002. "Xavier is an incredible place that prides itself on academic and athletic excellence. I am excited to get to work and lead the women's basketball program back to excellence both on and off the court.”

The Glandorf, Ohio, native has also served as an assistant coach at Princeton (2008-2012), Dayton (2006-07), Indiana State (2004-06) and Siena (2002-04).

Moore was a star player at Siena, named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999. She also played professionally in Luxembourg and Israel for two years.

Moore replaces Brian Neal, who stepped down last month after six seasons as Xavier head coach.