Alabama Football: Who Will Replace Mal Moore?


John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

We start this commentary with a disclaimer: No one lives forever, and that includes one of the nicest, most genuine men I have ever met, Mal Moore. I sincerely hope and pray that Coach Moore recovers from his pulmonary issues that have him receiving tests and treatment in North Carolina.

Wednesday’s news that Moore is stepping down as AD – a job he has done so ably since 1999 – to become special assistant to University President Dr. Judy Bonner, brings us to the next step … his replacement.

Whomever takes the job has some incredible shoes to fill. Moore has the distinction of being a part of 10 national championship teams as a player, coach and athletic director (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011 and 2012), 16 SEC championships, and 39 bowl trips. He is the only individual connected with the Tide program to be a part of ten national football championships.

The Candidates

 Ozzie Newsome

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bona fides: Baltimore Ravens general manager; former Crimson Tide receiver; Pro Football Hall of Famer; College Football Hall of Famer.

Pros: Loves Alabama. Knows how to run a large, football-centric organization.

Cons: Likely wouldn’t give a flip when tennis coach Jenny Mainz needs a fresh shipment of Penns.

BamaHammer Odds: 6-1

 Gene Hallman

Bona fides: President and CEO of Bruno Event Team, which oversees management of Alabama Gameday activities; Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Foundation.

Pros: A successful, thriving businessman who knows all the ins and outs of sports management.

Cons: Gutteral hatred from old-school Tide fans who have seen the Quad commercialized and parking for football moved to the outer perimeter of campus.

BamaHammer Odds: 8-1

Joe Dean, Jr.

Bona fides: As Birmingham-Southern AD, moved school to Division I status; frequent SEC basketball television analyst.

Pros: If anyone can do anything right at Birmingham-Southern, then they must be good. Perennial candidate for Mississippi State AD job (so obviously he is doing something right).

Cons: Birmingham-Southern dropped from D-I to D-III under Dean’s watch. Perennial candidate for Mississippi State AD job (what the heck do they know in Starkpatch, anyway?)

BamaHammer Odds: 12-1

Sarah Patterson

Bona fides: Six-time national championship gymnastics coach at Alabama; hired by Coach Paul W. Bryant.

Pros: Did you miss the six national championship rings? How about the rock-solid emphasis on academics? Also can rally a community with the best of them.

Cons: Her gender. Her lack of football background. Does Alabama really want “glitter” as an official color along with Crimson and White?

BamaHammer Odds: 16-1

Dave Hart

Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Bona fides: Current Tennessee athletic director; former Florida State AD and Executive Director of Athletics under Moore at UA.

Pros: Knows the playing field and the players at the Capstone.

Cons: Might have too much orange in his wardrobe.

BamaHammer Odds: 20-1

Phil Savage

Bona fides: Former GM of NFL’s Cleveland Browns; player personnel executive with Philadelphia Eagles; Crimson Tide Sports Network football radio analyst.

Pros: Already has absolute trust of Nick Saban.

Cons: Wants NFL career more than college administration one?

BamaHammer Odds: 22-1

Dark Horse Contenders

Finus Gaston, Kevin Almond, Cecil Hurt, Marie Robbins, Hunter Johnson, Rodney Orr, Shorty Price.