Credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It is with a heavy heart that BamaHammer.com reports that former Alabama athletic director and Crimson Tide legend Mal Moore has passed away at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
He was 73.
Moore, who was UA’s athletic director from 1999 to earlier this month when health issues forced him to become a special assistant to University President Dr. Judy Bonner, had earned 10 football national championship rings as a player, coach and administrator.
Earlier in March, Moore was admitted to Birmingham’s Brookwood Hospital, and then transferred via aircraft to North Carolina to be admitted to the Duke University Medical Center for additional tests related to pulmonary issues.
The Duke University Medical Center is one of the premiere hospitals in the world for lung transplants, and their website states that their “clinical care, research, and training programs focus on the most pressing issues facing patients with pulmonary disease or those who are critically ill.”
In August of 2012, Moore was admitted to DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa for an irregular heartbeat. He was released a few days later with his personal physician saying he was “doing fine.”
Moore was replaced as AD on March 22 by Bill Battle, another former Tide player under Bryant.
Alabama players past and present took to Twitter on Saturday to remember Moore’s legacy.
“Coach Mal Moore will be missed so much. I love you coach & know you will be watching over us from above. We will always remember you #loveU,” quarterback AJ McCarron tweeted.
“Mal Moore was not only our athletic director we practically grew up in same area just ten min apt.. Taught me alot through my journey at ua,” former Tide linebacker Nico Johnson tweeted.
“R.I.P to Mal Moore love everything u did for the BAMA Athletics as a whole #RollTideRoll,” former offensive lineman Andre Smith tweeted.
“I’m heartbroken about the loss of Mal Moore. Incredibly disappointing news. #RIPMal,” former UA quarterback Greg McElroy tweeted.
“RIP Mal Moore — men like you are the reason why I chose to play for this University . #Legend,” incoming Tide running back Derrick Henry tweeted.
“Thoughts and prayers going out to the family of Mal Moore. His contributions and passion to the University will never be forgotten,” Tide legend Jeremiah Castille tweeted.
“People look at Mal as a coach and a colleague and a boss, To me, he was just a friend,” said Steve Townsend, a special assistant and close friend of Moore’s, to AL.com. “It’s a sad day for all of us, especially Alabama people and people in college athletics and everybody lucky enough to know him.”
Battle had said on WJOX-FM earlier this week that Moore needed a lung transplant.
Moore was Alabama’s athletic director since 1999, and made an indelible mark on one of the nation’s most storied athletic programs, leading a department that has enjoyed tremendous success athletically and academically as well as undergoing an unprecedented period of growth during his tenure.
Through his guidance, Alabama’s athletic department remains focused on his vision of having all Crimson Tide athletic teams and student-athletes competitive at the highest level nationally while continuing to elevate athletic facilities at the Capstone to premier status nationally for all sports.
During his tenure as Director of Athletics, Moore oversaw more than $240 million of capital improvements to University of Alabama athletic facilities. Those projects have encompassed the entire scope of all Crimson Tide athletic programs and have benefitted every Alabama student-athlete, coach, and administrator.
Throughout his career, Moore worked with a diversified field of constituents, from fellow coaches and former players, to fans and the business community. All of those experiences and relationships – in addition to his ability to unify those many constituents – made him the ideal person to lead Alabama athletics in the 21st century.
Moore’s dedication to and love of the University of Alabama was recognized on March 28, 2007, when, as a permanent tribute to his life-long contribution to The University of Alabama, the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama officially dedicated the facility formerly known as The Football Building as the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility.
Under Moore’s direction, Alabama’s athletic teams have produced national championship teams in football, gymnastics, softball and women’s golf as well as Southeastern Conference championships in football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, men’s and women’s golf, men’s cross country and softball.
Alabama athletes earned some of the highest honors the SEC and NCAA have to offer, including SEC Athlete of the Year, SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, NCAA Top VIII, NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and NCAA Sportsperson of the Year. These honors are over and above the individual conference and national titles that Alabama athletes continue to bring home to the Capstone on a regular basis.
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. Moore has served on the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, the SEC Athletic Directors Bowl Advisory Committee and the Big Six Conferences Minority Coaches Forum.
Moore’s distinguished record of service to UA began more than 50 years ago when he joined the Crimson Tide football squad as a scholarship player for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant from 1958-62. Moore has the distinction of being a part of ten 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.
In 2011, he 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 to the nation’s best athletic director. In 2012, the City of Tuscaloosa honored him and his late wife, Charlotte, by naming the new Caring Days program the Mal and Charlotte Moore Center. The facility is a day program for adults with Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders.
During a coaching career that spanned 31 years, Moore spent 22 of those at Alabama with stops at Montana State, Notre Dame and the NFL’s St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals. At Alabama, Moore started as Coach Bryant’s graduate assistant in 1964, then as defensive backfield coach for five years beginning in 1965 before becoming quarterbacks coach from 1971-82 and serving as the Tide’s first offensive coordinator starting in 1975. He returned as offensive coordinator under Gene Stallings from 1990-93 before moving into athletic administration.
A 1963 graduate of The University of Alabama, Moore holds both an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a 1964 Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the Capstone. A native of Dozier, Ala., he was married to the former Charlotte Davis of Tuscaloosa for 41 years before she passed away after a long illness in 2010. He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Steve (Heather) Cook of Scottsdale, Ariz., a granddaughter, Anna Lee, and a grandson, Charles Cannon.