Former UTC coach Wes Moore's Wolfpack will visit Mocs this year

Former UTC coach Wes Moore's Wolfpack will visit Mocs this year

June 27th, 2018 by Gene Henley in Breaking News

North Carolina State women's basketball coach Wes Moore is preparing for his sixth season with the Wolfpack. His previous stop was at UTC, where he spent 15 seasons and led the Mocs to 358 wins.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball program will host North Carolina State on Dec. 21 at McKenzie Arena, UTC announced Wednesday.

It's the second game against a high-major opponent announced by UTC on the 2018-19 schedule — the Mocs will open the season against 2018 Final Four program Louisville on Nov. 9 — but this one will bring a former coach back to town.

Wes Moore is preparing for his sixth season at N.C. State, which went 26-9 and reached the Sweet 16 last season.

"What an awesome night this will be," first-year UTC coach Katie Burrows, who played for Moore from 2000 to '04, said in a UTC release. "To be able to go head to head with my college coach and former boss is going to be interesting. I don't expect him to take it easy on us, so we're going to have to bring our 'A' game."

Burrows added she may have to "take the scout," referring to the pregame scouting report on the Wolfpack. After her playing career ended, it was Moore who convinced her to join the UTC coaching staff in 2010.

Moore helped bring the Mocs into the national conversation during his time in Chattanooga, leading them to a 358-113 record from 1998 to 2013, including a 222-42 mark against Southern Conference competition. The Mocs went to nine NCAA tournaments during his 15 seasons and added four Women's National Invitational Tournament appearances to the ledger.

The potential for such a game has been talked about for a couple of seasons, but Moore wanted to wait until all the former players he and his staff recruited had finished their careers. The final person on that list was current student assistant Aryanna Gilbert, who was a part of Moore's final recruiting class at UTC.

Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Foster coached the Mocs the past five seasons before retiring this spring.

"It's not the most intelligent decision I've made in my life," Moore said in the release. "I know what a challenge it is taking a team into Chattanooga. I've seen a lot of BCS programs go in there and come out on the short end.

"I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see so many people who meant so much to (wife) Linda and me and in building the program. Selfishly, I couldn't pass up the chance to come home, so to speak."

The Mocs finished 17-13 last season, playing in the WNIT to end their streak of NCAA tournament appearances at five. They return eight players who started at least one game last season, led by All-SoCon guard Lakelyn Bouldin, who averaged 12.4 points and shot 39 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore in 2017-18.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.


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