- Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
Bill “Skeeter” Moss, a girls basketball innovator whose influence resonated throughout his hometown of Urbana and Ohio, died Wednesday afternoon after being found unresponsive at Urbana High School. He was 59.
Moss was in his 31st season coaching the Urbana girls varsity team.
Longtime coaching rivals and many other girls basketball enthusiasts responded by social media in paying tributes to Moss.
“The passing of Bill Moss is a tremendous loss for our community, school, former athletes, and most importantly his current basketball team,” Urbana superintendent Charles Thiel said in a statement. “Skeeter is a legend of Urbana sports.”
A viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Urbana High School auditorium with a service to follow.
Wednesday’s Central Buckeye Conference girls basketball game against visiting Tecumseh was postponed. Urbana’s next game is Dec. 28 at Southeastern. Amanada Mounce was listed in the preseason as the team’s only assistant coach.
A 1976 Urbana High graduate, Moss coached multiple varsity and middle school teams at Urbana, including football and softball. But he excelled in girls basketball.
Moss is credited with starting the now-defunct Urbana AAU girls basketball program in the mid-1980s. That laid the foundation for Urbana’s consecutive Division II state championships in 1992-93.
He also helped groom former Urbana standouts Beth Ostendorf, Jannon Roland and most recently Trischa Lacy. Roland starred on the two state title teams, was the D-II player of the year and also was the Big Ten player of the year at Purdue University. She played in the WNBA.
“Bill was an innovator and pioneer in this sport,” said Jim Dabbelt of the Dabbelt Report, which focuses mostly on area girls basketball.
“Back when AAU was in the early stages, he ran the Urbana AAU program and it was the standard-setter for girls AAU in Ohio. They made several trips to the nationals and that was back when the nationals really meant something.”
Besides those two state title teams, Urbana also won three regional titles, five district titles and eight CBC championships.
Moss was inducted into the George Scott Ring of Honor at Urbana High in 2016. He had 403 career wins, all at Urbana. That ranks him among the state’s all-time winningest coaches.
“He did a heck of a job,” said former Kenton Ridge coach Ed Foulk, who teamed with Moss in coaching the Urbana AAU teams for about five years. “That was his life, coaching. He’s done just about everything in Urbana. Basically, whatever they needed, he did. Basketball was very important to him.”
Besides basketball, Moss also was an assistant football coach at Urbana for 29 seasons and helped coach softball for five years.
“The school administration will begin soon to put plans in place to allow the team to move forward to complete the season in memory of Bill,” said Thiel.