Alabama president Judy Bonner will recommend Bill Battle as Mal Moore’s successor as athletics director, according to a statement released by UA.
Moore, 73, has been in the hospital since March 11 due to a serious pulmonary condition. He is currently being taken care of at Duke University Medical Center.
Battle was a three-year starter for legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant from 1960-62, and was a member of Bryant’s first national championship team in ’61.
“Over the past several weeks, we have had multiple conversations about who should follow Coach Moore as AD,” Bonner said in a statement. “Based on Mal’s strong endorsement as well as Coach Battle’s affiliation with UA as a player, partner and donor, his experience as a coach and his significant business background, I am confident that he is the right person to serve UA in this position. I am looking forward to working with him as we continue to build on the foundation of excellence that is the hallmark of Coach Moore’s tenure.”
Moore personally recommended Battle, according to the school’s release.
“When it became apparent that I was no longer going to be able to direct the Athletics Department, I felt that Bill Battle was the one person who could sustain all the good things that have happened the past few years while also moving us forward with planned improvements,” Moore said.
“Bill is a man of unimpeachable integrity who understands the heritage and tradition of The University of Alabama. He has been a friend of mine since we were teammates and an individual who has always gone beyond the call of duty in helping the Athletics Department during my tenure as its director.”
Battle, 71, said he has “extremely mixed emotions” about being involved in this process.
“When the University reached out to me, my instinct was to say no,” Battle said. “However, after speaking with Dr. Bonner, Dr. Witt, Coach Saban, Mal and Paul Bryant, and seeing what I’ve seen at the University, I couldn’t find a way to say no.
“The University of Alabama is at an all-time high in athletics, academics and most every other way, and I am deeply honored to be asked to serve in the position of Athletics Director. It is an extraordinary challenge and a responsibility that I take very seriously. I will do my dead-level best to continue the successes on and off the playing fields that Alabama fans have enjoyed over the past few years. I look forward to working with the great coaches, student-athletes and administrative staff at the University to continue the momentum they have created.”
Bonner also said that she would recommend to the Board of Trustees that Moore be named Athletics Director Emeritus as well as special assistant to the president.
“Mal Moore’s legacy surrounds us every day,” she said. “From state-of-the-art facilities, to raising more than $240 million in capital improvements to UA’s athletic facilities as well as support for UA’s students and athletes, to multiple teams that have excelled at every level, to attracting top-rated coaches and staff, he has upheld and embodied the Crimson Tide spirit in every endeavor. It is my pleasure to recommend to the Board that he be awarded another first in a career filled with them – UA’s first Athletics Director Emeritus. As we move forward, I am confident that Coach Battle will continue the momentum that Mal established.”
Battle was a three-year starter for the Tide, and was a member of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first national championship team in 1961. In 1963, Battle served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma under Bud Wilkinson, and was an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy while serving a two-year military tour in 1964-65. In 1966, he moved to the University of Tennessee, where he was an assistant coach for four years. He was named head coach at Tennessee in 1970 and, during his seven-year tenure, his teams went 59-22-2, and won four out of five bowl games.
Battle founded the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) in 1981, and served as its president and CEO until 2002. He also has served as chairman of the board of Licensing Partners International (LPI), which was created in 2001 to represent licensing interests of non-collegiate sports properties, as well as corporate and entertainment properties. Both CLC and LPI were acquired by IMG (originally known as International Management Group) in 2007.
He was named to The University of Alabama All-Decade Team of the 1960s and was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1981. He received the 2005 Paul W. Bryant Alumni Athletic Award at The University of Alabama and was inducted into the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2008. He was the recipient of a National Football Foundation award in 2008 for his outstanding contributions to amateur football. In 2010, he was selected as one of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators two-member Hall of Fame class.
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