Mal Moore, the legendary University of Alabama athletic director who helped bring the nation’s most storied football program ten championships as a player and assistant coach under Paul W. “Bear” Bryant and administrator while being renowned for his class, passed way today in Durham, North Carolina at the age of 73.
Moore became Alabama’s athletic director in 1999. After hiring Nick Saban before the start of the 2007 season, Moore restored Alabama’s football program to its rightful place at the pinnacle of the college football world.
Under Saban, Alabama has won three of the last four national titles and is college football’s reigning back-to-back national champions. At Alabama, Saban has become part of the pantheon of legendary college football coaches, joining Bryant, USC’s John McKay and Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy as the only coaches to have ever won four titles. Bryant won 6, and Messrs. McKay and Leahy won four.
When Alabama pummeled Notre Dame 42-21 this year to win its second consecutive title, Moore won a ring for his second thumb. Moore won 10 rings while playing for Bryant, coaching for him, and as Alabama’s athletic director. He is the only person to have won 10 football championships in Alabama’s history.
On March 20, Moore abruptly stepped down as athletic director, citing health concerns. He had been battling lung issues and had been hospitalized since March 11 with a “pulmonary condition.” Bill Battle, who also played under The Bear, was named Alabama’s new athletic director.
Moore’s success went beyond football. In 2012, Alabama won national championships in football, gymnastics, softball and women’s golf–the first time the school had won more than one national title in a year.
When Moore stepped down from his athletic director post, legendary Alabama sports talk radio host Paul Finebaum said Moore will be remembered as one of the greatest figures in the history of Alabama–and rightfully so.
“You hear the line all the time about a place on Mount Rushmore, but I think he would be next to Coach (Paul) Bryant on Alabama’s version of Mount Rushmore,” Finebaum said.
Moore was married to his wife, Charlotte, for 41 years before she passed away in 2010. He is survived by his daughter Heather Cook, a grandson, Charles Cannon, and a granddaughter, Anna Lee.