NEW YORK CITY -- Former University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore was named the winner of the College Athletic Director of the Year Award Wednesday night at the 2013 Sports Business Awards banquet presented by the Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports for the period from January 1, 2012, through February 28, 2013. Athletic directors from colleges and universities in the United States were eligible. Moore, who passed away on March 30, 2013, served as Alabama's Director of Athletics from 1999 to 2013, overseeing a renaissance of the University's athletics program into a powerhouse in virtually every scholarship sport.
"I am thrilled that Coach Moore has been named Athletic Director of the Year by the Sports Business Daily," said Bill Battle, UA Director of Athletics. "This is so perfectly appropriate as a recognition of the job he did at Alabama, particularly in leading our teams to unprecedented success during 2012. As his successor as Athletics Director, I have a unique perspective on the job that he did for us here. Perhaps more than anyone, I can attest to the tremendous job that he did.
"This honor reflects his leadership, his ability to hire great coaches, and his ability to create an atmosphere that is conducive to success at the highest level. I can think of no greater, more appropriate honor for Mal than this one."
"Coach Moore was much more than an athletics director," said University of Alabama President Dr. Judy L. Bonner. Mal Moore was a true visionary, a transformational figure for our athletic department and the ultimate ambassador for our University. Mal spent the vast majority of his life in service to the Crimson Tide. He set an example of service that continues to inspire all of us. This honor is a fitting tribute to his legacy of selfless service."
Former University of Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore. (abc3340.com)
Over the time period for which criteria were considered, Moore oversaw the most successful championship year in Alabama's storied athletic history as Crimson Tide teams won four national championships and came very close to a fifth during the 2011-12 academic year. In January of 2012, the Alabama football team won the BCS national title. In April of 2012, the Crimson Tide women's gymnastics team won the NCAA championships. In June of 2012, the Alabama women's softball and women's golf teams took home national titles within a few days of each other. In late May of 2012, Alabama's men's golf team came within one stroke of a national championship.
During Moore's tenure as Director of Athletics, Alabama produced national championship teams in football, gymnastics, softball and women's golf as well as Southeastern Conference championships in football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, men's and women's golf, men's cross country and softball. Alabama athletes earned some of the highest honors the SEC and NCAA have to offer, including SEC Athlete of the Year, SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, NCAA Top VIII, NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and NCAA Sportsperson of the Year.
Moore directed more than $240 million of capital improvements to University of Alabama athletic facilities. Those projects encompassed the entire scope of all Crimson Tide athletic programs and benefited every Alabama student-athlete, coach, and administrator. Moore made an indelible mark on one of the nation's most storied athletic programs, leading a department through a period unprecedented growth and success both athletically and academically. Moore's vision was to make all Crimson Tide athletic teams and student-athletes nationally competitive at the highest level. His leadership elevated Alabama's athletic facilities to premier status nationally for all sports.
Moore's dedication to and love of the University of Alabama was recognized on March 28, 2007, when, as a permanent tribute to his life-long contribution to The University of Alabama, the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama officially dedicated the facility formerly known as The Football Building as the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility.
In 2011, he was elected to the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a coach and an administrator. After the completion of the 2011-12 academic and athletic seasons, Moore was named the winner of the John L. Toner Award, given to the nation's best athletic director. In 2012, the City of Tuscaloosa honored him and his late wife Charlotte by naming the new Caring Days program the Mal and Charlotte Moore Center, a facility that serves as a day program for adults with Alzheimer's and other memory disorders.
Moore was one of five finalists for the Sports Business Daily's Athletic Director of the Year Award, joining the Mike Holder of Oklahoma State University, Tom Jurich of the University of Louisville and Jim Phillips of Northwestern University.