I guess he’s the most famous person from Dozier, a small town in Crenshaw County, Alabama. Coach Mal Moore was born there just before Christmas in 1939. I’m guessing it’s a long, long way from Dozier to the athletics director job at The University of Alabama.
I’m going to Tuscaloosa tomorrow to interview Coach Moore. It’s sort of a special time in his career. It was 50 years ago that a pretty good football coach name Bryant recruited Mal Moore to come up to Tuscaloosa and play football for him. That turned out pretty well. Mal Moore was on the 1961 National Championship team and has been a part of seven of the Tide’s National titles. He became a graduate assistant in 1964 and worked with Coach Bryant in the best years Alabama football has ever seen. He had a couple of coaching jobs at other places, but he’s Alabama through and through and if anyone bleeds crimson, Mal Moore is the guy.
I want to ask him to, as best he can, recall what his arrival on campus was like in 1958. The school, the state, and heck the entire world was spinning at a different pace then. Alabama football was huge, it always has been, but stadiums still had bleachers and schools could recruit everyone they wanted. I want his thoughts about Coach Bryant. I want to know what he says makes a great leader, what makes a great man. I want to know what brings him his greatest satisfaction and what the hardest part of his job is. I want to know if he still gets chills when Coach Saban leads the team onto the field and he hears the deafening roar of 93,000 fans. I guess I ought to ask him some football questions about plays and players and rules, and I ought to ask him some tough NCAA questions, but I’m won’t. In my request for an hour of his time I made it clear that this story is a positive one, one to reflect on this 50-year love affair with his school. I’ll let the hard-nosed, seasoned sports guys ask the tough questions.
They used to call the building Coach Moore’s office is in simply the football building. Today it’s called the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility. Seems to me, here in the final weeks leading up to another season of college football, Mal Moore, in his 50th year in college athletics, might just be the perfect person to interview.
See you tonight at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
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