Health concerns force Mal Moore to step down as Alabama's athletics director
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Mar 20, 2013 | 6014 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, left, with head football coach Nick Saban following the Southeastern Conference championship game in December. (File photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, left, with head football coach Nick Saban following the Southeastern Conference championship game in December. (File photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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TUSCALOOSA -- Mal Moore announced today he is stepping down as Alabama's athletics director, a position he has held since 1999.

In a news release, the university announced Moore's successor will be named as quickly as possible.

Effective today, Moore will become a special assistant to University of Alabama President Judy Bonner. Moore had been hospitalized last week while undergoing tests and receiving treatment at Duke Medical Center for pulmonary problems. He also was hospitalized in August 2012 for an irregular heartbeat.

“As many of you may know, due to factors related to my health, I am at a point that I can no longer fulfill my duties as athletics director in the true championship manner the position requires,” Moore said in a news release. “While I have to focus on my health issue, I look forward to maintaining an ongoing working relationship with this great university as special assistant to Dr. Bonner."

Moore's association with Alabama goes back to when he enrolled as a student in 1958 to play football for legendary coach Bear Bryant. He also coached at Alabama under Bryant and Gene Stallings.

“Mal Moore is Crimson Tide sports,” Bonner said. “During his tenure as athletics director, our student athletes have experienced unprecedented success in every aspect of their careers at UA, on the field of play and in the classroom. His contributions to UA athletics on every level are unsurpassed. And, while he will no longer be in charge of day-to-day operations, I am so pleased that we will continue to be able to rely on his wisdom and expertise going forward.”

Moore was part of seven national championship football teams at Alabama, either as a player or a coach. He was a backup quarterback on the 1961 championship team. When Alabama won championships in 1964 and 1965, he was Bryant's defensive backs coach.

He moved to quarterbacks coach in 1971, helping win a title in 1973. In 1975, he was promoted to offensive coordinator, helping win titles in 1978 and 1979. He served in that position until Bryant's retirement in 1982.

He also coached under Stallings as quarterbacks coach in 1990-93, helping win a national title in 1992. He shifted to administration in 1994, serving as associate athletics director until 1999, when he was named athletics director. He has overseen three national football champions as an administrator.

In 2007, Alabama named its athletics facility for him. In 2011, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The National Football Foundation awarded him the John L. Toner Award in 2012 as the nation’s best athletics director.

“I cannot adequately express what the University means to me," Moore said in a news release. "It has been a part of my life for more than 50 years, and I feel honored to have served the Crimson Tide as a player, coach and administrator. I am so appreciative of the University administration, coaches, staff, student-athletes and fans who have made my tenure as director so very meaningful, memorable and special.”

Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart has been mentioned by fans as a possible successor to Moore. He played basketball at Alabama and served as the school's executive director of athletics during 2007-11.

However, he told the Knoxville News-Sentinel today, "My focus is purely here. My total focus is on continuing to be privileged to serve at UT."

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at 256-235-3570. Follow on Twitter: @MarkSportsStar
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