After 14 years and wealth of success one could only dream of, Mal Moore officially stepped down today from his job as University of Alabama Athletics Director, citing “factors related to his health” as the main reason for his resignation.
The 73-year-old Moore, who played and coached for Paul ”Bear” Bryant” has been hospitalized at Duke University Medical Center since March 13 with pulmonary problems. This is the second time Moore has been hospitalized with health related problems over the past year.
He will now serve as a special assistant under UA President Judy Bonner.
“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.”
During his tenure as athletic director, which began in 1999, Moore oversaw an athetlic department that made more than $200 million in facilities improvements – including multiple expansions of Bryant-Denny Stadium and won national championships in football, gymnastics, softball and women’s golf in 2011-12.
When Moore took over for Bob Bockrath, the UA athletic budget stood at $36 million. Today, the UA football program earns a yearly revenue in the neighborhood of $60 million each year, while turning a profit of a little over $32 million.
Because of this, football finances 77% of the athletic department, bankrolling nonrevenue sports like golf and softball, two of the four sports in which UA collected National Championships in last year.
Moore’s biggest accomplishment, however, and lasting legacy will be his hiring of Nick Saban on Jan. 4, 2007. This move spearheaded the resurgence of Alabama football, rescuing what had been a dying program and restoring it to heights never seen since the days of Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Over the past four seasons Alabama has won three National Championships, including back-to-back titles in 2011, 2012, and two SEC Championships as well. The Crimson Tide has won 50 of a possible 55 games and sold out all 27 home games during that stretch.
All told, Moore has been part of 10 national championship football teams in various capacities as a player, coach and athletics director.
Born and raised in the small town of Dozier, Alabama, Moore came to Alabama and played under legendary coach Paul “Bear Bryant. As a senior, Moore was the backup quarterback for the 1961 Alabama team that won the National Championship – the first of six under Bryant – after finishing the season 11-0 following a 10-3 Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas.
Mal Moore as quarterback in 1961
From there, he spent 22 seasons as a coach, including stints with the NFL’s Cardinals in St. Louis and Phoenix and at Notre Dame.
He joined Bryant as a graduate assistant in 1964 and coached both the secondary and quarterbacks before becoming the Tide’s first offensive coordinator in 1975. He was also Gene Stallings’ offensive coordinator from 1990-93 in a tenure that included the 1992 national championship.
He interviewed to take over the program after Bryant retired in 1982 but was passed over in favor of New York Giants coach Ray Perkins.
Moore was inducted into the state of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and won the John L. Toner Award given by the National Football Foundation and the Hall of Fame to the nation’s best athletics director for the 2011-12 school year.
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.
According to the university, Moore’s successor as athletics director will be named as quickly as possible.