Three more years for Coach Howard Moore

Men's basketball coach Howard Moore

Men’s basketball coach Howard Moore at a team scrimmage last year. “It’s a great time to be a Flame,” he says. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services

Head men’s basketball coach Howard Moore’s contract was extended for three years, pending approval by university trustees.

The extension will keep Moore as the Flames’ mentor through the 2017-18 season.

“In a very short period of time, Howard and his staff have led our men’s basketball program back to being a contender in the Horizon League,” said Jim Schmidt, director of athletics.

“We’re very proud of the strides that have been made,” Schmidt said.

“Our recruiting has significantly improved, his players are performing well in the classroom, and the program now has an identity built on playing great team defense.

“We believe that Howard and his staff have an effective plan to consistently win in our league, and we’re excited about him leading our program into the future.”

Moore just completed his third season, leading the Flames to 18 wins, the most since 2007-08. UIC advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2004 and defeated Chicago State in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the team’s first postseason win.

“It’s a great time to be a Flame  — the energy surrounding our program and our athletic department in general is very exciting,” Moore said.

“As a staff, we are very proud of the things we accomplished last season — we had great senior leadership, and our young guys really bought into the vision of our program. But we’re not satisfied. Our goals are to compete for championships, year in and year out.

“Everything is about our approach: in recruiting, in practice, in the classroom and in competition. We’re very excited about this offseason, and are looking forward to our continual climb to the top of the Horizon League.”

Moore orchestrated the nation’s 12th-best turnaround last season, an impressive run bolstered by an increase of 10 wins from the previous year. The Flames had winning records for the first three months of the season and hosted a first round Horizon League Tournament game for the first time since 2008.

The 10th head coach for the Flames, Moore grew up on the West Side, mere blocks from the UIC campus, and attended Taft High School on the Northwest Side. In his five previous collegiate assistant coaching stops, he used Chicago as his main pipeline for recruiting talent.

Before UIC, Moore was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Wisconsin, for five years.

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