Longtime Alabama AD Moore dies; played and coached football at school
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Mal Moore, longtime director of athletics at Alabama, died Saturday at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Moore had been hospitalized for approximately three weeks due to a pulmonary condition.
"The University of Alabama and the world of intercollegiate athletics have lost a legend, and I have lost a dear friend," said Bill Battle, who recently was named athletic director after Moore decided to step down due to his illness. "My heart goes out to his family and close friends in this time of sadness. After a time of grieving, we can begin to celebrate Mal's life, as his legacy will last for generations."
An enormously popular figure in the history of Alabama athletics, Moore's personal style as AD from 1999-2013 generated devotion from the university community at-large, as well as the employees of the department that he oversaw.
After building an impeccable reputation as an assistant football coach at Alabama, Notre Dame and in the National Football League, Moore's enormous success as an athletics administrator was largely personal, as he skillfully and successfully dealt with issues and initiatives that required the cooperation of numerous campus and statewide entities. Moore's superb talent for gaining the respect and affection of those he worked with, as well as those that worked for him, revealed him to be the man perfectly suited to guide Alabama athletics through a turbulent period into an era of unprecedented success and prosperity.
Moore possessed a gift for inspiring confidence by harmonizing diverse groups and disparate personalities into a smoothly functioning coalition. Moore's term as director of athletics was a personal triumph. The good-natured sincerity with which he conducted business created an uncomplicated atmosphere that disarmed potential critics and comforted his underlings. Bestowed with the power to lead, he did so through a spirit of conciliation and persuasion. He made complex issues simple and allowed his department to focus on the job at hand.
Moore made an indelible mark on one of the nation's most storied athletic programs, leading a department through a period unprecedented growth and success both athletically and academically. Moore's vision was to make all Crimson Tide athletic teams and student-athletes nationally competitive at the highest level. His leadership elevated Alabama's athletic facilities to premier status nationally for all sports.
During Moore's tenure, Alabama produced national championship teams in football, gymnastics, softball and women's golf, as well as SEC championships in football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, men's and women's golf, men's cross country and softball. Alabama athletes earned some of the highest honors the SEC and NCAA have to offer, including SEC Athlete of the Year, SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, NCAA Top VIII, NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and NCAA Sportsperson of the Year.
Moore directed more than $240 million of capital improvements to Alabama'a athletic facilities. Those projects encompassed the entire scope of all Crimson Tide athletic programs and benefited every Alabama student-athlete, coach and administrator. Throughout his administrative career, Moore worked with a diversified field of constituents, from fellow coaches and former players, to fans and the business community. All of those experiences and relationships -- in addition to his ability to unify those many constituents -- made him uniquely qualified to lead Alabama athletics in the 21st century.
Moore's dedication to and love of Alabama was recognized on March 28, 2007, when, as a permanent tribute to his lifelong contribution to the university, the school's board of trustees officially dedicated the facility formerly known as The Football Building as the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility.
In 2011, he was elected to the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a coach and an administrator. After the completion of the 2011-12 academic and athletic seasons, Moore was named the winner of the John L. Toner Award, given to the nation's best athletic director. In 2012, the city of Tuscaloosa honored him and his late wife, Charlotte, by naming the new Caring Days program the Mal and Charlotte Moore Center, a facility that serves as a day program for adults with Alzheimer's and other memory disorders.
In addition to making his mark on Alabama, Moore also had a national impact as a key member of several prestigious NCAA and college football committees. He served on the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, the SEC Athletic Directors Bowl Advisory Committee and the Big Six Conferences Minority Coaches Forum.
Moore was a football player under legendary Crimson Tide head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1958-62 and went on to serve as an assistant football coach on Bryant's staff. Moore held the distinction of being a part of 10 national championship teams as a player, coach and athletic director (1961, '64, '65, '73, '78, '79, '92, 2009, '11 and '12), 16 SEC championships and 39 bowl trips.
During a coaching career that spanned 31 years, Moore spent 22 of those at Alabama with stops at Montana State, Notre Dame and the NFL's St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals. At Alabama, Moore began as Bryant's graduate assistant in 1964, then as defensive backfield coach for six seasons (1965-70) before becoming quarterbacks coach from 1971-82 and serving as the Tide's first offensive coordinator starting in 1975. He returned as offensive coordinator under head coach Gene Stallings from 1990-93 before moving into athletic administration.
Born December 19, 1939, in Dozier, Ala., Moore was a 1963 graduate of Alabama, earning both an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a 1964 master's degree in Secondary Education from the Capstone. Moore was married to the former Charlotte Davis of Tuscaloosa for 41 years before she passed in 2010 after a long illness. He is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Steve (Heather) Cook of Scottsdale, Ariz., a granddaughter, Anna Lee, and a grandson, Charles Cannon.
Funeral arrangements are pending.