TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) - Mal Moore is stepping down as University of Alabama Athletics Director. He will become special assistant to President Judy Bonner, effective March 20.
Moore was admitted to Duke University Medical Center last week for more follow-up tests in conjunction with his pulmonary problems, according to a spokesperson for the University of Alabama.
“Mal Moore is Crimson Tide sports,” said Bonner. “During his tenure as athletics director, our student athletes have experienced unprecedented success in every aspect of their careers at UA, on the field of play and in the classroom. His contributions to UA athletics on every level are unsurpassed. And, while he will no longer be in charge of day-to-day operations, I am so pleased that we will continue to be able to rely on his wisdom and expertise going forward.”
“As many of you may know, due to factors related to my health, I am at a point that I can no longer fulfill my duties as athletics director in the true championship manner the position requires,” said Moore. “While I have to focus on my health issue, I look forward to maintaining an ongoing working relationship with this great University as special assistant to Dr. Bonner. I know I can count on each of you to continue your unequaled support for me and The University of Alabama.
“I cannot adequately express what the University means to me. It has been a part of my life for more than 50 years, and I feel honored to have served the Crimson Tide as a player, coach and administrator. I am so appreciative of the University administration, coaches, staff, student-athletes and fans who have made my tenure as director so very meaningful, memorable and special.”
A 1963 graduate of The University of Alabama, Moore earned both an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a 1964 master’s degree in Secondary Education from the Capstone. The University of Alabama’s director of Athletics since 1999, Moore was a football player under legendary Crimson Tide head coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant from 1958-62 and went on to serve as an assistant football coach on Bryant’s staff. Moore has the distinction of being a part of 10 national championship football teams as a player, coach and athletics director.
In 2011, Moore 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 by the National Football Foundation and the Hall of Fame to the nation’s best athletics director.
The names "Bryant" and "Saban" may have more starpower, but many feel the cornerstone of the Crimson Tide is the one who has more rings than either.
"He has probably done more for the university or as much as anbyody," said local sports talk radio host Wes Neighbors, who also played offensive lineman for Alabama in the 1980's. "Mal just thought it [resigning] was in the best interest of the university, because that's all he really cares about, the University of Alabama and his family."
Moore's most famous decision as athletic director came in 2007 when he hired Nick Saban to resurrect a dynasty. Six years and three national championships later the mission is complete, but the question of who takes over is already swirling. Neighbors declined to reveal some of the names he's hearing, but said it's a safe bet that whoever takes over will have Crimson Tide connections.
"It's like following a CEO that's done really well, you don't have to really do very much," said Neighbors. "I think they'll look around, but I would imagine if you have Alabama ties then you have a better chance of getting the job."
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 has served on the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, the SEC Athletics Directors Bowl Advisory Committee and the Big Six Conferences Minority Coaches Forum.
Moore’s successor as athletics director will be named as quickly as possible.