Sharing Doug Moe Memories - "Big Jane" Moe
"Big Jane" Moe, Doug's wife
For 41 years the woman affectionately known as "Big Jane" has been Doug Moe's better half. She has seen it all, from his days as a college basketball player through his entire coaching career. The Moes have two children and five grandchildren. Doug Jr. was an assistant coach on Doug's staff in Denver from 1988-90.
Nuggets.com's Jonathan Goldstein sat down with the woman who knows Doug best to collect some of her memories of him both on and off the court.
How did you two meet?
“We met when we were both at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, as students and Doug was playing there. I shouldn’t even say that he was a student because he was not a very good student."
Where are you from originally?
“North Carolina. Springfield, it’s a small town.”
What did your family think of you bringing home a New Yorker?
“Boy, straight out of Brooklyn, that was a shock. That was a shock to our little town."
What do you remember about when Doug took over in Denver or his first in here?
“You know what, I don’t remember that much. That was a long time ago, 22 years ago. He just enjoyed his time here. He coached here for 10 years and really enjoyed it. He was really into it, as you probably know. It was just a great 10 years."
What was it like being a basketball wife with him on the road a lot?
“You know I don’t really know of any other life so I can’t say. There were times when our children were little that I thought, ‘Oh, I wish I had just a normal husband with a normal job nine-to-five,’ but that would have probably been pretty boring.”
Were you responsible for picking out Doug’s clothes?
“Oh please! No! No, now I try and get involved a little bit, but he had his own style I have to say.”
What are your memories of your time in Denver?
“I just felt like when we were here, it was like the players and their families, and the staff and everyone, it was just like one whole big family. It was a very close relationship we felt with everyone. And a lot of the players – Doug didn’t really trade the players all that much – they seemed to stay around for a while. And it was just a happy time.”
Where did "Big Jane" come from?
“With the Big Jane thing everyone is still disappointed that I’m not 6’2” and 250 (pounds), because that’s really what they expect, I think. Well his mother he calls ‘Big D’. Her name is Dolores. She now is 90 years-old and she used to be on the hefty side – a big woman. And he used to get on her about being so big and started calling her ‘Big D’. And then I think just to make things seem sort of, well she could have resented it. Now if I weighed 250 I think I would have resented it too. Now she had these big arms like Ted Kluszewski, the former baseball player, and he was comparing her to him, I think. But she wasn’t that big. Anyhow, he started out like that, and sort of to not make her feel that bad, he started calling me 'Big Jane'. And it just kind of stuck. I mean now he’s just shortened it to ‘Big’. And my mother use to say ‘Jane, why do you let him call you Big Jane?’ I said ‘Oh well. Unless I get so big I don’t really care.’"
Did it shock you the first time you heard him refer to you as Big Jane in the media?
“No, it didn’t bother me at all.”
So what has life been like for you two since he left coaching?
“Well, at first it was a bit of an adjustment for me because I had been used to the fact that he would travel some and then all in a sudden he was at home all the time. But then we’ve just had some wonderful trips that we’ve been on in the free time. We each give each other enough space that it’s not like so demanding. And I think that’s why we’ve had a good marriage too. He plays a lot of golf and we had a great time.”
Were you hesitant about coming back to Denver and him returning to work with the Nuggets?
“I had to really think about that because we finally had moved. We had stayed in Denver until two years ago. And we finally moved full-time to San Antonio and I certainly didn’t want to start moving around again after as much as we moved around over the years. But he seemed excited about the opportunity, and working with Kiki especially so I was supportive too. And we’ve lived here before, so going to a city that we lived in for so long and have a lot of friends makes a big difference. And he’s really enjoying it and so am I.”
What will Thursday night's ceremony mean?
“They’ve been trying to do this for a couple of years and Doug is just kind of like ‘Uh, I don’t know about that.’ He would just assume not have any attention for that. It will be nice and I know they’ve done a good job. They've put a lot of hard work into it.”