Bob Moore, who coached scores of volleyball players at Santa Barbara schools, died Thursday, December 4. He was 76.
A native of Santa Maria, Moore began his career as an athletic director at the YMCA after he graduated from UCSB in 1962. He became a coach at La Cumbre Junior High, and in 1978, he was an assistant volleyball coach at Santa Barbara High when the Dons went undefeated. He succeeded Rick Olmstead as head coach of the Dons, and he also coached the SBHS girls volleyball team.
“He was really intense,” said Nan Verkaik, who was an assistant with Moore before taking over the high school program.
In 1992, Moore led the Dons boys to a CIF 4-A championship. They swept Huntington Beach in the final match. “I was able to learn a lot from him,” said Chad Arneson, a member of that team and the current coach of the Dons boys. “Bob kept the Santa Barbara volleyball tradition going.”
SBCC’s volleyball teams, both men and women, also were coached by Moore for several years. In addition, he ran adult and youth tournaments at East Beach for the City Recreation Department.
Moore’s health had declined after he suffered a stroke in 2013, his son Todd Moore said, and he was in hospice care at the end of his life.
Moore was affectionately known as “Turtle,” which some attributed to his methodical approach to his duties. But Todd Moore recalled that “when he would hit the volleyball, he would elongate his neck as if that somehow would get his arm up higher.”
Todd Moore said he hopes to pull together a memorial to his father at East Beach in the near future.