Alabama Athletics: A Thank You Letter To Mal Moore From A Recent UA Graduate


Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Many Alabama students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni and fans were shocked to hear that renowned athletics director Mal Moore was stepping down from his position. I was certainly a part of that group, knowing how much he means to the University and it’s athletics program.

The storied past of Moore’s participation in Alabama athletics as a player, coach and then an administrator is truly a remarkable one. There are going to be other people that will know him more than I ever will and I’m not going to pretend I know him that well. But I know his impact on my experience as a student at UA has made a huge difference and made memories I will never forget.

Obviously, one of the biggest hires Mal Moore can take full credit for is the hiring of head football coach Nick Saban. I remember Moore stepping up to the podium introducing the new face of Alabama football. When Saban was first hired, I didn’t know much about him or why he was selected over many qualified candidates at the time, but Moore must have seen something in him that told him he was the man for the job.

When I came to the University, Saban had just completed a decent 7-6 season and considering where the program was at the time Saban was hired, that was pretty good for the first year. Five years later, we are now talking about three-peat for a national championship, something I think many didn’t expect. But I like to think that Moore expected that kind of success when he made his choice. He knew this program needed change and brought it in a huge way. Those championships will forever be etched in Alabama football history, and I thank Mal Moore for having a hand in some memories I will never forget as a student.

But it wasn’t just football. Moore wanted more from his program. He hired former Florida assistant and then-current VCU coach Anthony Grant to run his men’s basketball program, which meant a lot to me, even in this crazy season. I always have thought that he was the right hire at the time. If anything, Grant has brought relevance to the basketball program, something that was sorely missed during the Mark Gottfried era. Moore had a hand in his hiring and I thank him for bringing that kind of energy to one of my favorite college sports.

Moore’s impact didn’t stop there. My last year at UA in 2012 was a big turnaround point for the program. In that year, not only did football win it’s 13th national title, but gymnastics won its second straight. But that wasn’t it. Women’s golf coach Mic Potter and softball coach Patrick Murphy both brought back national championships to Alabama, bringing Alabama its first two non-football-or-gymnastics championships. And Moore had a hand in hiring both of those guys.

But it’s not just his on-the-playing-surface success that makes me respect Mal Moore. He brought expansions and renovations to many of the facilities to make Alabama the premier place for college athletics. During my time at Alabama, the south endzone was expanded in Bryant-Denny Stadium and some of those seats went to the students. A mid-court videoboard was installed in Coleman Coliseum, making the place a lot more modern. Expansions to the tennis facilities and the softball stadium also came under Moore. He even fully refurbished the old Foster Auditorium to make it a fantastic facility for women’s basketball and volleyball.

So, as a graduate at the University of Alabama, I thank you for everything, Coach Moore. You brought so much more to this University than it ever asked for. I want to thank you for making an impact on me and my experience at Alabama, making it the best four years of my entire life. You brought a golden age to UA that will be forever remembered, and I am proud to say that I was a part of that during my time as a student. I’m shocked that you had to leave your position, but I know – just like the decisions you made as a athletic director – that you did so knowing it was the best decision for everybody involved.

Thanks Coach. For everything.

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