Melanie Moore stood at the podium in front of friends, family and the media and stressed three themes: family, integrity and competitive greatness.
These are three attributes that not only define the Xavier way but also are traits that a team must embody in order to achieve success and win games.
Xavier named Moore, who was announced to the position on April 5, as the next head coach for the women’s basketball team.
She was officially introduced on Tuesday, becoming the eighth head coach in program history.
“From the moment this opportunity presented itself, I was interested,” Moore said. “But there’s a difference between being interested and wanting it … I’m humbled to be entrusted to lead the Xavier women’s basketball program back where it belongs.”
Moore was most recently the associate head coach for the women’s program at the University of Michigan.
She had spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach for the Wolverines before receiving a promotion. She has also served as an assistant coach for Indiana State, Dayton and Princeton.
“I’ve been very fortunate that every head coach that I worked for put me in an opportunity for this moment,” she said. “What they had me in charge of and how they ran their programs, I already feel ready. I honestly do feel ready for this step.”
Moore mentioned that Kim Barnes Arico, the head coach for the women’s basketball team at Michigan, was one of the people who strongly encouraged her to take the Xavier job.
Moore is originally a native of Ohio from the town of Glandorf, which is about two and a half hours away from Cincinnati.
As a former college player herself, Moore was recruited by Xavier but ultimately ended up at Siena where she is now a member of the Hall of Fame.
As an assistant coach, Moore has an impressive track record from a wins perspective. At Michigan, she helped the Wolverines achieve a 156-85 overall record throughout her seven seasons with the team.
“Melanie was on our list right from the start,” athletic director Greg Christopher said. “Every single person we talked to talked with such high regard with Melanie as a person … She has won at every single stop.”
“I kind of took some things that I learned from Kim and just my core values of the program and how I am going to run the day-to-day. Just the type of leader I want to be … I learned from her every day how to run a successful program,” Moore said about what she can take with her from Michigan.
In the long term, Moore’s familiarity with Ohio and the Midwest could serve large dividends when it comes to recruiting.
“Recruiting is the life blood of your program, so I want to recruit Ohio,” she said. “There’s so much talent in this state all over, and there’s a lot of talent in Cincinnati, too. I need to build a fence around Ohio and try to get these kids to stay home to come to Xavier and play for us.”
Moore also said Xavier will focus recruiting efforts on players in states like Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
While coaching at Michigan, Moore was part of a staff that guided the Wolverines to three NCAA Tournament appearances — a feat that the Xavier women’s program has not accomplished since 2011.
Historically, the Musketeers have been to two Elite Eights, and this physical representation on banners hung in Cintas Center was something that Moore was impressed with when she visited the facility.
“I think Xavier has a rich winning tradition (by) going to two Elite Eights,” she said. “It has been done here before, so that’s exciting to me as a new head coach. I know it’s not going to happen overnight — there’s a process that needs to happen.”
The process of putting Xavier back where it belongs started right from the onset.
“It’s one step at a time … At the end of the day, it’s my job to get these guys ready for the real life … I’m excited to hit the ground running with these ladies,” Moore said.
By: Luke Feliciano | Sports Writer