By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
— Mal Moore, the former athletic director at the University of Alabama as well as a former assistant coach under Paul "Bear" Bryant and Gene Stallings, died Saturday morning in Durham, N.C. at age 73.
Moore stepped down as AD two weeks ago, citing health issues. He had been hospitalized at Duke University's medical center for at least three weeks, and before that at Brookwood Medical Center in Homewood. Moore had suffered from pulmonary problems, though the exact cause of death remains unknown at this time.
Moore's replacement, former Tide player and University of Tennessee head coach Bill Battle, said in a radio interview earlier this week that Moore was in need of a lung transplant.
Moore had a hand in 10 football national championships at Alabama: one as a player, six as an assistant coach and three as AD. He took the director's job in 1999, and was tasked with rebuilding a Tide athletic program that had fallen into disrepair. New facilities were needed to attract top talent, and the school was in danger of falling behind competitors in the Southeastern Conference and across the nation.
After some false starts with new head coaches, such as the Mike Price debacle, Moore finally hit paydirt when he hired Nick Saban, who has since coached the team to three BCS national championships in four seasons. Despite Moore's many other accomplishments, his hiring of Saban remains the one thing most Bama fans remember him for.
His last year and a half may later be recognized as the pinnacle of a golden age for Tide sports, with five national championships in that span: football, softball, women's gymnastics (twice) and women's golf. Indeed, for all of the accomplishments on the gridiron, the school has become a force in women's sports across the board during Moore's tenure.
More details on this breaking story as they become available.