Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Mal Moore was remembered by friends and family members Monday as an all-round good guy.
Moore, a former Alabama athletic director and Dozier native, died at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., of pulmonary complications on Saturday, 10 days after he announced his retirement from the university. He was 73.
Family and folks on a local level, said Moore was a great person and athlete.
Ashton Wells, who is Moore’s second cousin, said Mal always downplayed how good he was as a quarterback.
“In fact, he had the misfortune of following two of the best quarterbacks we’ve had of all time in Pat Trammell and Joe Namath. So, he was behind the eight ball.
“In truth though, I think Mal could’ve started for several of the SEC teams,” he said. “He was a good passer and a great student offensively with the football. As a matter of fact, coach (Paul Bear) Bryant said on several occasions, (Moore) was as good as an offensive coach as he had ever had.”
In high school, Moore played at the QB position for Dozier High School.
Former Andalusia High School football player Ab Powell, who practices law in Andalusia, said he remembers Moore playing for Dozier in 1957 as a senior.
It was game nine of the season and both teams were undefeated and neither had a tie during the season, Powell said.
Dozier suffered a bitter 62-7 loss to RLS, according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society’s website. Powell said five of Red Level’s players that year went on to play at SEC schools.
Powell and Wells both recalled that Moore got trapped in a ditch while working for a construction company digging a pipeline where the bypass is located in the summer before his senior year.
“Mal was working for a summer job and the excavation caved in on him,” Powell said. “They thought he was buried, but they got him out of there and they didn’t see any problems — none the worse for the wear.”
Powell said even though Moore wasn’t from Andalusia, “we knew who he was.”
Moore played football at Alabama from 1958-1962, and served as Bryant’s assistant coach from 1964-1982. He also was offensive coordinator for former coach Gene Stallings before moving to an athletic administrative role in 1994.
Moore took over as AD in 1999, and since then, Crimson Tide teams have won eight national championships and 19 SEC titles.
Nico Johnson, who just wrapped up his senior football season at Alabama, said Moore was an inspiration to him.
“Mal Moore was a man that inspired me to keep pushing forward and continue to get better,” Johnson said on his Facebook page. “He would always joke with me about us being from such small towns, but being able to get somewhere bigger than we both could ever imagine. He will be missed more than others know! (Rest In Peace).”
Wells said Moore was a genuine person.
“The thing about it is, whatever he told you, you could count on it,” Wells said. “He was straight forward and honest and above all, he was dedicated to whatever task he had in front of him.”
The university will honor Moore with a “Celebration of Life” on Thursday at Coleman Coliseum. The service, which is open to the public, will begin at 3 p.m. He will be buried in Dozier on Friday.
Complete obituary information can be found here.