Last Saturday, Alabama’s Athletic Director was acknowledged and celebrated by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham. Mal Moore has been a part of Alabama athletics for more than 50 years. As a football player, he helped the great Paul “Bear” Bryant win his first National Championship at Alabama in 1961. With nine, count them, nine National Championship rings all together, Moore has been a stronghold for Alabama athletics.
His athletic background at the university has no counterpart. Moore began his coaching career as Bryant’s graduate assistant while earning his masters in secondary education in 1964. From 1965 to 1970, he served as the defensive backfields coach. Starting in 1971, he moved to quarterbacks coach, while becoming the offensive coordinator from 1975 to 1982.
In the span of his 22 seasons roaming the sidelines, Moore accumulated 14 SEC Championships, and 28 bowl game appearances.
His work on the sidelines earned him intense recognition from the Board of Directors. In 1999, he was named Alabama’s Athletic Coordinator; but it wasn’t until 2007 where he truly made an everlasting mark in the future of the Alabama athletics program.
With an outstanding collegiate football coaching resume, Nick Saban was hired to lead the Tide into a series of National Championships; the first in 2009, and a second in 2011. Mal Moore is the sole reason for the hiring of Saban.
“The effort that he puts into recruiting, that he puts into every aspect of football is a thoroughly though-through plan and executed. I’m very pleased with the direction that’s going,” said Moore about Saban. “Watching him work at Alabama, recruit, organize, and set up, it’s been amazing.” Moore also created the Crimson Tradition Fund, which eventually led to a $150 million campaign. Prior to the 2010 football season, Moore was also responsible for the addition of seats to the south end zone of Bryant Denny Stadium, which now totals 101,821 seats; an architectural juggernaut compared to the original stadium in 1929 when it sat a mere 12,000 fans.
It’s no surprise that Mal Moore would be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The only question that remains is, “what the hell took so long?”