University of Wisconsin men’s basketball assistant coach Howard Moore was involved in a multiple-vehicle crash early Saturday morning in Michigan that included three fatalities, including two members of Moore’s family.
Moore’s daughter Jaidyn, age 9, died on the scene and his wife Jennifer, 46, died later at the hospital after being taken off life support. Moore was seriously injured, while his son Jerell, 13, escaped with minor injuries.
According to the Michigan State Police, 23-year-old Samantha Winchester of Ann Arbor was driving the wrong way on a highway northeast of Ann Arbor and caused the accident at 2:04 a.m. The female driver was pronounced dead at the scene, as was the minor in the vehicle that was hit.
Brian Kinross told The Detroit News that he dodged the wrong-way driver just moments before the impact with the Moore vehicle, which was being driven by Jennifer according to the Michigan State Police. Kinross told the paper that the wrong-way driver was traveling at a high rate of speed.
“I witnessed the collision into the cars behind me a quarter mile or two in my rear and side-view mirrors,” Kinross told The News. “A large fireball erupted as the driver collided into the car it struck head-on.”
Kinross called 911 after the crash.
“Howard’s family, man, they exude joy everywhere it was that they went,” said Matt Metzger, a pastor at Blackhawk Church, which the Moore family attended. “When you were around Howard, you knew the two most important things to him were faith and family.”
Metzger said one of the things that always impressed him about the Moore family was how they never appeared stressed despite being so busy.
“For anyone who is in the coaching world, their schedule is just crazy,” Metzger said. “And yet there was never an element to them that ever seemed stressed or bothered. They were just about other people and they loved people well.
“When Howard talks about faith and family, it wasn’t just something that he said, it was something that he lived.
“You always saw them together. They would have to tag-team it in order to make it to Jerell’s basketball and Jaidyn’s volleyball, but they loved being together as a family and they just exuded the love of Jesus with everything it was that they did. You couldn’t be around them and not feel loved and accepted.”
UW issued statements from coach Greg Gard and athletic director Barry Alvarez on Sunday morning.
“There are no words to describe how devastated we are for Howard and his family,” Gard said. “Our basketball program is an extremely close family and we are all grieving for the Moore and Barnes families. Howard is so much more than a colleague and coach. He and Jen and their children are dear friends to everyone they meet. Their positivity and energy lift up those around them. We will miss Jen and Jaidyn dearly and we will put our arms around Howard and Jerell and the entire family, giving them love and support during this unspeakable time.”
Moore, 46, was hired by Gard in December 2015, his second stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater. He played at UW from 1990-95, appearing in 47 games.
Moore was a member of UW’s 1993-94 team that helped the Badgers return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1947. A native of Chicago, Moore graduated from UW with a Bachelor’s Degree in African-American Studies in 1995.
Moore served as an assistant coach with the Badgers under Bo Ryan from 2005-09 before being hired as a head coach at Illinois-Chicago. He was working at Big Ten Network late in 2015 when Ryan abruptly retired and was replaced by Gard, who quickly hired Moore to fill out his staff.
“I’ve known Howard ever since he was a student-athlete at Wisconsin and gotten to know his wonderful family through the years,” Alvarez said in a statement. “He has always been an incredible representative of our athletic department and a positive influence on everyone around him. We are truly heartbroken for his family and will be doing everything possible to help him through this tragic time. Our prayers, love and support go out to the Moore and Barnes family.”
The Moore's dog was also killed in the crash, according to the state police.
There was an outpouring of support for Moore and his family on Twitter throughout the day Saturday.
“Thoughts and prayers are with the Moore family,” former UW standout Frank Kaminsky, who was recruited by Moore, said on his Twitter account. “Can’t even imagine the pain they are going through. Please everyone take a moment and pray for Coach Moore and his family.”
Frank Kaminsky - Charlotte Hornets player, former Badger
Thoughts and prayers are with the Moore family. Can’t even imagine the pain they are going through. Please everyone take a moment and pray for Coach Moore and his family.— Hippo Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) May 25, 2019
Sam Dekker - Washington Wizards player, former Badger
We send our love and support to Coach Moore and his family through this time...— Sam Dekker (@dekker) May 25, 2019
Vitto Brown - Former Badger
Jonathan Tsipis - Badgers women's basketball coach
Wisconsin Badgers men's golf
Tai Strickland - Former Badger
Patrick Baldwin - UW-Milwaukee coach
Ryan Baker - Chicago sportscaster
Duje Dukan - Former Badger
Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Wisconsin basketball program and assistant coach Howard Moore and his family. So sorry for your loss.— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) May 25, 2019
Jason Bohannon - Former Badger
Stan Johnson - Marquette assistant coach
Just heard the news about @Howard_Moore our prayers go out to him and his family at such a devastating time. He is one of the best people in our game. Praying that God will grant them the peace that surpasses all understanding. Thinking of the @BadgerMBB program. ❤️— Stan Johnson (@MUCoachJohnson) May 25, 2019
Please send out a prayer for Coach Howard Moore and his family, as they were involved in a terrible car accident. An amazing family needs your prayers today. 🙏🏻— Wisconsin Academy (@WiscoAcademy) May 25, 2019
Travis Trice - Father of Badgers guard D'Mitrik Trice
Please take a moment to pray for Wisconsin Men’s assistant basketball coach Howard Moore and his family! 🙏 up!— Travis Trice (@trice_travis) May 25, 2019
Freddie Owens - Holy Cross assistant coach
Tony Granato - Badgers men's hockey coach
LaVall Jordan - Butler coach
Wisconsin assistant Howard Moore has been a great friend and mentor to me. Many prayers go up for him & his family during this devastating time. Absolutely heartbreaking news. Please pray 🙏🏾— LaVall Jordan (@LaVall_Jordan) May 25, 2019
Ryan Wing - Sportscaster
Howard Moore has been through so much in his life. He’s attempting to help control gun violence in his hometown of Chicago after his uncle was shot and killed. Now he loses his wife and daughter in a car accident. What an incredibly sad day.— Ryan Wing (@RyanWingFOX11) May 25, 2019
Jackie Crum - Badgers women's hockey assistant coach
Rob Jeter - Minnesota Golden Gophers assistant coach
Our thoughts and prayers are with @BadgerMBB asst coach @Howard_Moore and his family. He and his family were involved in a car accident last night where his wife and daughter unfortunately passed. Our love and support are with Coach Moore and the rest of his family 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/9NUrrMwRTg— Platteville Hoops (@Platteville_MBB) May 25, 2019
Nigel Thomas - North Carolina Wesleyan assistant coach
Please pray for current @BadgerMBB— Nigel Thomas (@CoachNIT) May 25, 2019
Assistant Coach @Howard_Moore. He & his family were involved in a car accident this morning where he lost his wife & his daughter. Him and his son are currently fighting for their lives. Coach has been good to me over the years.
Chris Holtmann - Ohio State coach
Archie Miller - Indiana coach
Thoughts and Prayers go out to Howard Moore and his loved ones.— Arch Miller (@Archie_Miller) May 25, 2019
Matt Painter - Purdue coach
Saddened to hear the news about Howard Moore today.— Purdue’s Matt Painter (@CoachPainter) May 25, 2019
Our thoughts are with Howard, his family and Wisconsin basketball.
Cuonzo Martin - Missouri coach
Heartbreaking news. Praying for Coach Howard Moore & my thoughts are with he and his family during this difficult time.— Cuonzo Martin (@CuonzoMartin) May 25, 2019
Chris Mack - Louisville coach
Robbie Hummel - Big Ten Network analyst
Howard Moore is one of the best people in all of college basketball. Tragic hearing what happened last night. Prayers go out to him and his family.— Robbie Hummel (@RobbieHummel) May 25, 2019
Jamall Walker - Illinois assistant coach
Thoughts, prayers and support goes out to Wisconsin assistant coach Howard Moore and his family.— Jamall Walker (@jamallwalker) May 25, 2019
DJ Shawna - Badgers DJ
Rob Sorensen - Edgewood College assistant
Every ounce of positivity that Howard Moore has brought to this world deserves given back to him and his family tenfold. He is one of the kindest, gracious and best people I have had the honor and privilege of being around and learned from.— Rob Sorensen (@CoachSorensen) May 25, 2019
Dr. Barbara Henley - University of Illinois at Chicago vice chancellor emerita
Jordan Taylor - Former Badger
All the amazing people at Wisconsin.. nobody put a smile on your face like Jen and Coach Moore 💔💔💔. Prayers up.— Jordan Taylor (@JMTaylor11) May 25, 2019
Myron Medcalf - ESPN reporter
Just pulled over to the side of the road and sobbed when I heard the news about Coach Moore’s wife and daughter. Family is everything to him. I can’t understand it. How can anyone understand this?— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) May 25, 2019