February 15th, 2021

Moir has given a lot to Sacred Heart


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Moir has given a lot to Sacred Heart
photo by Ed Peak

It was just after Christmas when Sacred Heart coach Donna Moir returned to school. She had no idea what was waiting for her in a letter from the National Federation of Coaches. 


Moir, in her 30th season as a head coach was named the 2020 Girls National Federation of State High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year. 


"There were actually three letters," said Moir. "One for state, one for your sectional and one for the national. I guess I didn't open them in order."


Moir said she had no idea of the award. "I filled out a questioner and returned it. I got a text from Jeff Walz (University of Louisville head coach). He told me 'I'm not even the number one coach in my neighborhood.' That meant a lot."


Then a few weeks later Moir became the winningest female coach in the state of Kentucky with the Valkyries win over Scott High, last Friday. After Sunday's win over catholic rival Mercy, Moir's record is 688-260 fourth best.


Her teams have won three state championships 2002, 2003, 2004. SHA have won seven Seventh Region titles including last season losing to South Laurel in the state tournament opening round.


Moir began her career as a player at Sacred Heart and was coached by icon Benny Daugherty. As a 14 year old freshman Moir, then maiden name, Bender, played on the 1976 State Champions. You could say Sacred Heart basketball is 

in her blood.


Moir, a guard, played four years of basketball and golf at the University of Cincinnati for coach Ceal Berry, a former Louisville Assumption player. "I think I was one of the last two sport athletes in Division One.


Moir succeeded Peggy Feherer, who coached two seasons at SHA after leaving The University of Louisville as head coach. Moir helped coach freshman and junior varsity.


"Sister Maureen Fields came to me and asked me if I would become head coach," said Moir. "They told her she (Moir) should be the one you ask."


Back then you had to work or teach at the school." Sacred Heart needed an Athletic Director, so Moir took the job.


Moir is as proud of the other sports at SHA as her own. "That was one of my biggest challenges. I wanted all my teams to be successful. I tried to support all the teams, golf, tennis all of them to be as good as basketball."


Sacred Heart is a long time swimming power in Kentucky winning 31 state championships.


"I've had great coaches and support," said Moir.


Moir has coached two Miss Basketball winners, Crystal Kelly and Carly Omerod. Grace Berger, now at Indiana University is tearing up the Big Ten was an outstanding player for SHA.


Sacred Heart lost 95 percent of its scoring from last seasons regional champions, yet the Valkyries won their first nine games this season. Losses to Bullitt East, Notre Dame and Cooper are all some of the states best.


"It's always tough to come over here and win, said Bullitt East coach Chris Stallings. "We hadn't won in this building in about 10 years. The Lady Chargers edged SHA 63-60 in a classic matchup.


"Year in and year out we compete with anybody," said Moir. "We must play one of the toughest schedules."


Moir said her assistant coaches have provided a lot of help and the cooperation of parents is big. For instance the Bullitt East game was senior night. Not only did the Valkries honor their seniors Maggie Montano, Aubree Littlejohn, who is injured and Danielle Schafer. SHA gave Bullitt East  five seniors a rose and had their picture taken.


Littlejohn made an honorary layup to start the game then went to the bench.


While basketball is important education is what Sacred Heart is all about. Moir said that a former player Ashley Harris got an A in biology. "We were proud of that. It's bigger than basketball. You get an awesome education here."

Moir said it's important that the program pays attention to the small details that add up to bigger things. "We try to play with class and compete as hard as we can."


With the Coronavirus this season it has been a challenge getting fans to games. SHA limits attendance to about 15 percent. So the alumni association payed to have all sports streamed at no charge for parents and relatives.


Sacred Heart (12-3) ranked as high as No. 2 this season by Max Preps. Sophomore Triniti Ralston and junior Josie Gilvin lead the group. Senior Montano, junior Alexandra Wolff and Regan Bender are the usual starters.


Juniors Olivia Kaufman, Sienna Slaughter and freshman Angelina Pelayo come off the bench.


"This is a really a fun group to coach," said Moir. "We've got a good mix of upper classmen and five freshman. Josie is our motor. We've started to get our swag back."


The Seventh Region has several strong teams including Manual coached by Jeff Sparks, a former Moir assistant, Central and Christian Academy.


Moir says she never thinks about retiring. After all 30 years is a long time.


"I enjoy what I do. Really happy with what I do. I feel I have a lot to give. I have good kids."


Moir has given a lot to Sacred Heart.


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