Former Alabama AD Moore dies at 73

Former Alabama AD Moore dies at 73

March 31st, 2013 by David Paschall in Sportscollege

Alabama athletic director Mal Moore speaks during a news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in this 2006 file photo. Moore, who played and coached under Bear Bryant, hired Nick Saban and presided over a heyday in athletics at his alma mater, has passed away. The university said the 73-year-old Moore died on Saturday at Duke University Medical Center. Moore had been in the Durham, N.C., hospital since March 13 with pulmonary problems.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore died Saturday at Duke University Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized nearly three weeks with pulmonary problems.

Moore resigned as AD on March 20, and he was replaced two days later by former Tennessee football coach Bill Battle.

"The University of Alabama and the world of intercollegiate athletics have lost a legend, and I have lost a dear friend," Battle said. "My heart goes out to his family and close friends in this time of sadness. After a time of grieving, we can begin to celebrate Mal's life, as his legacy will last for generations."

The 73-year-old Moore was a part of 39 bowl trips, 16 Southeastern Conference championships and 10 national titles as a Crimson Tide player, assistant coach or AD. He is believed to be the only person in college football history to be so closely linked to 10 national crowns.

In his role as AD, which began in 1999, Moore directed more than $240 million of capital improvements for the school's athletic facilities. The Crimson Tide also won national championships in football, softball, gymnastics and women's golf during his tenure.

"Mal was truly a special person in every sense of the word," Tide football coach Nick Saban said. "We can talk about all the championships Mal has been involved with, but I think what will be remembered most was the man he was. He always put the best interests of others ahead of his own.

"He carried himself as a first-class gentleman, and he helped bring out the best in those around him."

On March 29, 2008, Moore traveled to Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church to attend funeral services for former Red Bank and Alabama linebacker Victor Ellis.

Moore was elected in 2011 to the State of Alabama's Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a coach and administrator. He was named last year as the winner of the John L. Toner Award, which is given annually to the nation's best athletic director.

Born in Dozier, Ala., Moore was a backup quarterback on Alabama's 1961 national championship team. He married the former Charlotte Davis of Tuscaloosa, and the two were together 41 years before she died in 2010 after a long illness.

The two had a daughter, Heather Cook, who lives with her husband, daughter and son in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"He served his alma mater with grace and dignity and spent a majority of his life giving to the university that he loved," Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said. "Mal was an outstanding leader, a fierce competitor and, most important, an outstanding human being."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.