Reliving the tradition with Mal Moore

Mal Moore with Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

GameDay: You have been a part of eight national championships at the University, that’s eight rings. Where are all of those rings?
Mal Moore: Well, they are at my home. I walk past 13 national championship trophies with 13 rings on the way to my office so I don’t need anymore rings lying around.

GD: You have been a part of all of those championships as a player, coach and athletics director. Is there a Mal Moore statue coming soon?
MM: I hope not. (laughs) I am just thankful to have a job. They are everlasting memories I will never forget. My face does not need to be anywhere. The players and coaches deserve all the credit.

GD: What is your favorite memory as a coach and player with Coach Bryant?
MM: That is very hard to do. There are so many. I was not a great player. But, I was very fortunate to have Coach Bryant hire me as a coach early on in my career. I coached for him 19 years. [Because of] six national championships with Coach Bryant, and staying on that staff and my reputation, I was hired to coach at Alabama again where I won another title with Coach Stallings.

GD: What was the biggest difference coaching NFL and College?
MM: Well, in my office nobody ever came to see me. No one ever called me. But here, everyone calls. Everyone constantly wants to talk. And that is why it is so great – with everyone wanting to be involved from recruiting and boosters. That’s what the Sabans missed the most, being involved in every way.

GD: When Rich Rodriquez announced he was staying at West Virginia, what did you do?
MM: Well, we were in an awkward situation with Coach Saban. We could not communicate with him because his season with the Dolphins was not over yet. We were desperate. We needed someone fast. It was a key hire, and we wanted a coach who won a championship. Coach Saban never had a sit down with me. We never spoke until his last game on a Sunday when the Colts played the Dolphins. I spoke over the phone with him and Terry on that Monday and on Tuesday I went to his home and Wednesday he was hired.

GD: Eleven years as AD. What has been your biggest struggle?
MM: When we were faced with NCAA Penalties. That was a very tough time for everybody – president, coaches, alumni – with what we faced with those penalties. We couldn’t attend a bowl game. No bowl money and scholarships taken away. To survive it was hard.
MM: I would have to say the most happiest and proud moments in my career as AD was when Coach Saban took a job.

GD: You have also created a big expansion to the football stadium. Did you ever imagine it being this big?
MM: Never. As a player we warmed up in the south end zone where there were wooden bleachers. We played in front of 35,000 people. Now it is so beautiful.

GD: Out of the eight national championships you have won, which is your favorite?
MM: (laughs) I have never been asked that. But it is so hard. Each one has its own unique memory. But, the most recent one would have to be. Undefeated season and just so much success.