In a surprising move, Bessie Stockard was fired yesterday as the women's basketball coach at the University of the District of Columbia. She will remain at UDC as a physical education instructor.

Orby Moss, UDC athletic director, said he decided not to renew Stockard's coaching contract because of major disagrements about the handling of the basketball program the last two seasons. Steve Haynes, Stockard's full-time assistant, also was fired.

"Everyone will look at her record the last two year -- 21-5 in '79-80 and 19-6 this past season -- and say she did a good job," Moss said. "But when you look at who we've played the past two years, we're only 8-10 against the good Division I teams."

Stockard, who formerly coached at American University and at Federal City College before it merged with D.C. Teachers and Washington Tech to form UDC, didn't appear upset but refused to discuss her dismissal.

The UDC players had mixed emotions.

"They say what goes around, comes around and maybe Coach Stockard is finally getting hers," said sophomore center Katrenia Davis. "My high school coach told me not to come to UDC and play for her because of a personal conflict they had . . . my coach was right."

UDC cocaptain Theresa Snead said she was going to meet with other team members to find out why Stockard was dismissed.