Mal Moore talks of Tide titles

Published 5:41 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

University of Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore talks with guests following Tuesday’s meeting of the Selma Quarterback Club. During the meeting, Moore shared details of how he was able to recruit and hire head football coach Nick Saban, as well as other details about how the facilities at the university have expanded over the last decade.

Since taking over as athletic director of the University of Alabama in 1999, Mal Moore has grown accustomed watching the Crimson Tide pile up the national championships.

In all his time around Alabama football, Moore has been a part of nine national championships as a player, coach and athletic director, but he’s also watched the school’s entire athletics program join in on the trend including the recent national titles in women’s golf, softball, gymnastics and football.

“Last year, we won four national championships, and that’s the first time in the history at Alabama that we did that,” Moore said. “No question, it’s a very exciting and a very proud time for all of us. And I think we were the only Division I university to do that and that’s quite an accomplishment.”

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In football, Moore said it’s been a journey to get the program to where it stands now as arguably the most dominant in the country, and it all started with the hiring of Nick Saban and that search for someone who knew what it takes to win championships after the football program experienced a down period.

“When the decision was made to make a change, I stated that my goal was to hire a coach that had won championships — national championships, conference championships,” Moore said. “I didn’t feel that we could try out another coach that had never coached or had never won big. And it was a very crucial hire for Alabama at that time in our history. This had to be right, and from that point on I went after coaches that won and won big. We ended up with coach Saban, who we had kind of targeted from the beginning and it worked out in hiring and even more so; what he’s accomplished there is stunning.”

And those stunning results, of course, include two football national championships in three years, not to mention being in the thick of the title chase this season.

“The main thing I’m concerned about is our team and where we are. I think we are coming down to the end and in a great position,” Moore said. “We have to take them one at a time. We’ve got to win this game Saturday to get us into the SEC title game. I’m just so proud of our coaches and our team and everything they’ve accomplished.”

Among Moore’s many responsibilities as an AD, maintaining stability is one of the most important.

And while Moore has had the luxury of being in one of the nation’s most stable conferences in the SEC, he, like most ADs, has remained tuned in during the ever-shifting landscape that is collegiate athletics thanks to constant realignment and expansion.

“I think all the ADs, we liked where we were before all the changes were taking place, but once it started, then we felt like, because of TV and all the things that are involved, we had to be a part of it,” Moore said.