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Champions of Character


Westmont Athletics is a proud participant in the NAIA Champions of Character program. Champions of Character provides training for student-athletes and professional development for coaches and staff. The values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership are put into play and accounted for at NAIA schools.

Smelley to be honored as the 2014 NAIA Coach of Character

Submitted by: Ron Smith - September 15th, 2014
Track & Field and Cross Country Head Coach Russell Smelley received the 2014 NAIA Coach of Character Award.

Westmont’s Russell Smelley has been honored by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with its 2014 Coach of Character Award. Smelley is in his 36th year as head coach for Westmont’s track and field and cross country teams.

“What I personally appreciate about Coach Smelley is his consistent pursuit of excellence without compromising the character values he makes the priority of his coaching philosophy,” said Westmont athletic director Dave Odell. “He is a fantastic example of how to be competitive and achieve success in athletics while remaining unwavering in a commitment to teach character and being a role model for both student athletes and coaches alike.

“In my 30 year history with the NAIA, I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for this honor,” continued Odell. “Coach Smelley is deeply imbedded in the fabric of all that is great about the NAIA. He was a champion of character before the term became a part of our culture.”

Asked what the award means to him, Smelley replied, “I hope that it reflects a growing faith and living out a faith in Jesus Christ.

[NAIA National Award Day video]

Westmont-Claremont Rivalry Renewed

Submitted by: Ron Smith - September 7th, 2014
Warriors enjoy a game of nationball classic against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Westmont Cross Country renewed a storied rivalry with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at Chase Palm Park – and they ran a cross country race as well.

“(Claremont head coach) John Goldhammer and I started having our teams meet 20 years ago just for a dual meet to start the season,” explained Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “We made it low key and played games together. Then one day we looked at his literature and he was calling it the Nationball Classic. It became that the race was something to do for training and the Nationball game was the event. The pizza was the piece offering afterward.”

The nationball contest is played in three rounds. First the women verses women, then men verses men. Finally, everybody is all in. This year, Westmont won the women’s round before the Claremont men evened the score at one point each.


Chilin’ for Charity

Submitted by: Ron Smith - June 24th, 2014

Coach Kirsten Moore was called out to “chill for charity” in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. She rose to the challenge by chillin’ at -220 degrees Fahrenheit for two minutes at The Lab’s cryo-sauna. She has challenged four other NAIA coaches to pay it forward and chill for charity.

Watch the video on facebook at:

Coach John Moore’s Basketball Journey Started Early, In A Foreign Land

Submitted by: Ron Smith - June 18th, 2014
USA U18 court coach John Moore shares a laugh with USA U18 National Team hopeful Tyus Jones. Photo courtesy USA Basketball.

By Craig Ellenport

Reprinted by Permission

For some people, being involved with USA Basketball creates an opportunity to travel the world and broaden horizons. For John Moore, the order was reversed.

In Moore’s case, spending his childhood years in another part of the world created an opportunity to become involved with USA Basketball and cement a love of the game that would shape his life forever.

Moore, the longtime and very successful head men’s basketball coach at Westmont College in Santa Barbara California, was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, earlier this week to serve as a court coach for the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp. This was Moore’s second stint as a USA Basketball court coach (he worked previously with the 2002 USA Men’s U18 National Team). He’s been a college coach for more than 30 years, following his playing days at Westmont. And it all started when he was a kid growing up in Japan – and his family played host to the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Moore to Coach with USA Basketball

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 22nd, 2014
John Moore

USA Basketball has announced that Westmont Basketball head coach John Moore has been named one of three court coaches for the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 Team training camp. The other two court coaches are Danny Manning of Wake Forest (N.C.) and Steve Schmidt of Mott Community College (Mich.).

The training camp will take place June 10-19 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“As a coach, there are few greater honors than those in which you get to work with other coaches as you represent your country,” Moore said. “What a privilege it is to work with USA Basketball ensuring the ongoing teaching of this great game of basketball to our athletes.

“I hope during this time to stir in these young men an added passion and appreciation for this beautiful game,” Moore continued. “In a practical sense, I hope to put each player in the best possible position for him to be successful.

Student-Athletes Honored with Golden Eagle Award

Submitted by: Ron Smith - April 21st, 2014
Westmont President Gayle Beebe; Golden Eagle recipients David Donner, Taylor Frantom,  Jack Rogan, Breean Collier; Track and field head coach Russell Smelley, Award sponsor Pete Jordano

Westmont Athletics honored 13 student-athletes at the 20th Annual Golden Eagles Award Banquet. The awards have been sponsored by Pete and Gerd Jordano and the Pacific Beverage Company since their inception in 1995.

An athlete from each intercollegiate team is presented with the Golden Eagle Award. The honor is given to an athlete for their accomplishments athletically, academically, spiritually and socially. Each recipient must be at least a sophomore in academic standing, possess a minimum 3.25 GPA and have the nomination and support of their coach.

Moore Honored by Basketball Writers

Submitted by: Ron Smith - February 20th, 2014
Westmont Women's Basketball Head Coach Kirsten Moore

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced today that Westmont Women’s Basketball head coach Kirsten Moore has been honored as the recipient of the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award. According to a USBWA release, “The award stands for inspiration, hope and an undeniable spirit to persevere.”

Moore unexpectedly lost her husband Alex, a kinesiology professor at Westmont, in May of 2012 when he passed away from a pulmonary embolism following surgery for Crohn’s disease. Seven weeks later, Moore gave birth to a daughter whom she named Alexis in honor of her father.

In August of 2012, Moore met with her team and informed them that she intended to continue coaching. She invited the team to join her in what would doubtless be an emotional journey. The team, as well as the Westmont and Santa Barbara communities, rallied around Moore providing not only emotional support, but very practical support in babysitting, meals, yard work and much more.

Honors Bestowed on Women’s Soccer Players

Submitted by: Ron Smith - December 6th, 2013
Top Row (l-r): Carly Richardson, Alison Hensley, Christina Adams. Bottom Row (l-r) Jenny Ann Martinez, Denae Crump, Courtney Stonesifer.

Sophomore Carly Richardson of Belmont has been named as a recipient of the Select Sport America Champion of Character Scholarship for women’s soccer. Each team in the NAIA National Championship names a Champion of Character who is recognized before each of the post-season games. Richardson was chosen from among the team award winners to receive the $1,000 scholarship which is given to Westmont in her name.

Acknowledged for both their athletic and academic accomplishments were senior Alison Hensley of Huntington Beach and junior Christine Adams of Castle Rock, Colo. Both were named Capital One Academic All-Americans®. Hensley, who received the award for the third time, was named to the first team while Adams was named to the second team. Hensley, a mathematics and Spanish major holds a GPA of 3.96 while Adams is a kinesiology major in a pre-med track with a GPA of 3.9.

Only 22 women’s soccer players from across the nation are chosen to receive Academic All-American recognition in the college division. The award recipients are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Hensley and Adams were also named NAIA Scholar-Athletes along with Jenny Ann Martinez of Santa Barbara, Denae Crump of Elk Grove and Courtney Stonesifer of Pleasanton. Martinez is a senior kinesiology and communication studies major with a 3.89 GPA. Crump is a senior liberal studies major with a 3.66 GPA and Stonesifer has a GPA of 3.5 as a junior kinesiology major. NAIA Scholar-Athletes must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and must be at least a junior in academic standing.

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