Longtime Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore resigned his position Wednesday citing ongoing health concerns. As a result, the university was forced to close the book on yet another impressive chapter of its history.
Moore, 73, was born in Dozier, Ala. and began his lifelong relationship with Alabama in 1958 as a backup quarterback under legendary coach "Bear" Bryant.
Just a year after graduating, Moore returned to Alabama as a graduate assistant under Bryant. Over the next 19 years, Moore worked his way through the ranks, serving as defensive backs coach, quarterbacks coach and finally offensive coordinator.
When Bryant retired, Moore left Alabama only to return when Gene Stallings was hired on as head coach in 1990 to again be the Tide's offensive coordinator.
Moore officially retired from coaching after the 1993 season and became the Assistant Athletic Director at Alabama. In 1999, he was promoted to AD and has run the Alabama athletic programs ever since.
In his career at Alabama, Mal Moore was a part of an amazing 10 football national championships, the most recent coming just over two months ago when the Tide throttled Notre Dame for their 14th national title.
During his tenure, Moore twice supervised the expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium, raising its capacity from 83,818 to the current 101,821. Improvements were also made to Coleman Coliseum and the tennis, soccer and softball venues under Moore's charge.
Moore was also one of the school's most cherished and dedicated fundraisers and was instrumental in creating the athletic program that we see today.
His successes were not limited to just football, however. Alabama also won three national titles in women's gymnastics, golf and softball during Moore's time as AD.
While not every move Moore made was successful and there were a series of less than pleasant coaching hires (Dennis Franchione, Mike Price, Mike Shula), Moore led the ultimate charge by landing current head coach Nick Saban to run the football team in 2007.
Now, after a career at Alabama that lasted more than 50 years, one of the Tide's most dedicated and dependable leaders will take his final leave.
Said women's gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson as reported by Al.com: "Mal's biggest strength throughout his career both as a coach and an administrator has always been his love of Alabama. There is no one that loves this University more than Mal Moore. He has taken us when times were hard and built us back up into the powerhouse program of today."
Basketball coach Anthony Grant added, "No one has a greater passion for this University and athletics department than Coach Moore and we are thankful for the example of class and integrity he exemplifies."
The athletic programs will continue to compete, and likely flourish. But they will do so knowing that without the efforts of Mal Moore the opportunities, the facilities and the support that Alabama has would not be quite what they are now had Moore not been the man that he was.
The player. The coach. The administrator. Men like Mal Moore do not come around often. While he will be sorely missed, his efforts will not soon be forgotten.
We thank you, coach, from the entire Alabama family.
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