TUSCALOOSA Mal M. Moore, former Alabama athletic director and long-time football coach, passed away March 30 at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. from a pulmonary illness.
Mal Moore, who played and coached under Paul Bryant and restored the football program to a national power with the hiring of Nick Saban, was 73 years old.
While Coach Moore was most prominently known for his achievements as an athlete, coach and administrator, his depth as a person truly personified his life and career. Mal was a loving husband, father and grandfather whose family always came first. His devotion to his family and friends, his loyalty to the University, his dedication to his employees as well as to all the student-athletes, and his respect for his opponents embodied the life of a true gentleman who never forgot his small town roots in Crenshaw County, Alabama.
In his final correspondence announcing his retirement he told his athletic department staff, I cannot put into words what this institution that I have been a part of for over 50 years means to me. It is where I arrived when I first left my home in Dozier, Alabama, it is where I was educated, where I met and married my wife and where my daughter was born and grew up.
"It is the place I have called home and with people I identified as my family for over 50 years. I cannot adequately express what this institution and the people that have made it great means to me and my family and what it means to have a truly Crimson heart."
The sixth of seven children born to Dempsey and Fannie Moore, Coach Moore experienced a love of family and sports, and a passion for the outdoors that defined his life. An avid bird hunter, Moore loved to spend time participating in all outdoor activities especially with his dearest friends and family members. Since becoming a grandfather, "Daddy Moore" relished his time at the beach with his daughter and grandchildren every summer. He had a personal fondness for reading and reciting poetry, listening to music and working in the yard.
His remarkable career in athletics, which included being part of ten national championships in football, helped earn him enshrinement into the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. This past December, he reached the pinnacle as an administrator when he was honored at the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame as the nation's top Director of Athletics. In 2007, the University of Alabama honored Coach Moore by naming the football complex and administrative building the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility in great appreciation for all of his years of outstanding service.
Coach Moore was also active in community affairs, tirelessly working in the aftermath of the devastating tornado in 2011. He chaired the committee to raise funds to build the Caring Days Facility in Tuscaloosa that assists patients afflicted with Alzheimer and other illnesses associated with traumatic memory losses. In 2012 the facility honored him and his late wife Charlotte by naming the new complex in their honor.
Annually, he helped raise money for the Boys' and Girls' Club of Tuscaloosa by hosting a golf tournament and he spent endless hours traveling across the state at functions to help local organizations raise money for charitable endeavors.
Coach Moore was predeceased by his wife Charlotte, his parents Dempsey and Fannie, and brother Douglas and his wife Margaret, and brother-in-law Carlton Mason. He is survived by his daughter Mrs. Heather (Steve) Cook and her husband Steve of Scottsdale, Ariz., and his two grandchildren Anna Lee and Charles Cannon.
Also surviving Coach Moore are special friend Mary Reyner, his brother Frank (Tina); his four sisters Donna Mason, Jean (Bruce) Long, Martha (Buck) Morris, and Amber (Allen) Yoe; 22 nephews and nieces; and 42 grand-nephews and nieces.
A public service commemorating his life will be held at Coleman Coliseum on Thursday, April 4th beginning at 3 p.m.
A private church service will be held Thursday morning and burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday at the Good Hope Cemetery in Dozier. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Crimson Tide Foundation, Box 870343, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487; or the Mal and Charlotte Moore Caring Days Center in Tuscaloosa, C/O Vicki Kerr, P.O. Box 3049, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403.
No matter how you knew Mal, he was a true champion of the human heart. His loving touch and well thought-out words embodied a man who had only known love and compassion from the day he was born. He truly made a lasting impression on all who knew him. No one could tell a story like Mal, but it was his warm smile, the twinkle in his sparkling blue eyes as he squeezed your hand, that will be missed by everyone that loved him so. It is without question, the Good Lord broke the mold after he made Mal Moore.
Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be offered at www.heritagechapeltuscaloosa.com