Zia coaching icon enjoys retirement

By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer

After five years of retirement, the most successful coach in Zia basketball history still feels the competitive fires within, but now the inferno burns on the golf course instead of the basketball court.

Wayne Moore registered 327 wins in his 22 years coaching the Eastern New Mexico University Zias from 1980-2002, earning three Lone Star Conference coach-of-the-year awards and leading the Zias to the LSC championship in 1992-1993 with a record of 23-5 (12-2 LSC).

Before coaching at ENMU, Moore coached boys high school basketball for 15 years.

“After 37 years I felt like I kind of lost a little bit of energy,” Moore said. “And the fire wasn’t quite there anymore so I was ready to retire and I’ve enjoyed retirement very much.”

Moore has kept himself busy with traveling, holding various basketball camps and near daily excursions to the Portales Country Club where he quenches his thirst for competition.

“That’s the reason I really like golf,” Moore said. “Because it is competitive. You can play against the course, you can play against other people, you can play tournaments and the competitive nature is still there on the golf course.”

“He’s around a lot more,” Moore’s wife Lynda said. “It’s been nice, I’m glad that he goes and plays golf, that he has something he enjoys doing.”

Wayne and Lynda also travel, in particular to watch their granddaughter, Portales High School graduate Morgan Hill, play basketball at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Moore says he’s become a great coach since he quit coaching.

“I’ll sit up there now and say, ‘What the heck, why are they doing this, and why are they doing that?’”

“There are a lot of the players that he coached, and some of them have been coaches, and they call him and ask him, ‘Could you help me out on this,’ or, ‘Show me some plays or some offense or defense that you used to run,’” Lynda said. “And he still enjoys that. He likes to teach even the fundamentals.”

In addition to Annapolis, Md., Moore also says that his retirement travels have taken him to the northern mountains of New Mexico, Tennessee and Kentucky.

“I’m going to travel more and I’m going to do more fishing,” Moore said. “I’ll travel and fish and play golf. I want to play a lot of different golf courses in a lot of different areas.”

As for coaching, Moore says he still misses aspects of the job, but two factors forced him to call it quits.

“I miss some things. I miss the teaching and being associated with the players, but I don’t miss the travel and I certainly don’t miss the recruiting,” Moore said. I’d still be coaching if it weren’t for the travel and the recruiting.”

“He would get in late, late at night and have to do a lot of driving,” Lynda said. “He just really got to where he didn’t like to do that too much.”

Moore also believes the Zias are in good hands now with former Texas Tech assistant Linden Weese.

“I think they’re in good shape right now,” Moore said. “I think coach Weese will take them to another level. It’s going to take him a little time but I think we have what we need to really advance.”