Late Thursday night the Moore Board of Education held a special meeting to fill the vacant girls basketball coaching positions at Moore High and Westmoore.

After a three-week search — which included more 30 applicants — both schools found their coach. The Lions hired Tim Gray while the Jaguars filled their position with Andrea Guziec.

The search was done a little differently than most schools handle theirs.

Since the Westmoore and Moore’s jobs came open around the same time, the Board of Education decided to combine the interview process, which meant each applicant was essentially applying for both jobs.

“The Moore job opened up first then out of the clear blue sky ours opened up,” Westmoore Athletic Director Chris Crosbie said. “A bunch had applied for the Moore job then even more came out to apply for ours also. We just kind of look at all the applicants for both jobs.”

Because school officials are not allowed to comment on personnel decisions, neither Crosbie or MHS athletic director Bart Richardson could discuss specifically how the choices were made.

Regardless, both programs are happy with their new skippers.

Gray comes to MHS after a three-year stint at Chickasha High, which fell to Ardmore 48-34 in the first round of the 5A regional tournament to end their season.

Gray brings a new voice and a fresh start to a program which had been in a slump the last few years.

“He had a lot of energy and is really enthusiastic about coaching and teaching,” MHS athletic director Bart Richardson said. “He takes pride in his job. He just brings a lot of energy to the program.”

Gray replaces Darla Gilmore, who had been the Lions coach for the past four years. She ended her final campaign with 3-19 record after losing to Sapulpa High 81-33 in the first round of the regional tournament.

While Gilmore didn’t mention then that she was looking at leaving her post, the writing could be seen on the wall.

“This was one of, if not the toughest season I have had so far,” Gilmore said when the season concluded. “I felt like it was a tough season for the players and for me. We had some low spots. We managed to work through them.”

“Hopefully they have learned something from this season and will use it next year.”

Guziec is not new to those who followed the Jaguars the past few years. As the coach for the Putnam City North girls basketball team, she and her Lady Trojans took part in the Westmoore tournament every year.

“We were impressed with the way her teams play, how she commands respect and handles herself on the sideline,” Crosbie said. “She has a great track record and been to state tournament a few times. She communicated to us she wants to build the program back to where it was a few years ago.”

Guziec takes over a program that was on the rise under former coach Jason Hays. In two years, he took the Jaguars from 4-19 to 11-13, which was the biggest record improvement in Class 6A last year.

“I’m leaving it in good shape for whoever is next,” Hays said before Guziec was announced as his replacement. “Three senior starters and a junior group that went undefeated as sophomores. They’re in good shape to do good things.”

In seven years at PCN Guziec compiled a 112-67 record. North lost to Midwest City in the regional tournament to end their season with a 10-13 record.

Guziec said she is looking forward to building something special with the Jaguars.

“I have been in OKC for 10 years,” Guziec said. “And Westmoore has been one of the programs that’s been able to be a top notch program. I know they have had a lot of coaching changes and you hear through the grapevine that the girls want someone that will be there for a while and build it up. That is what I want also.”

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