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Alabama says Bill Battle recommended to succeed Mal Moore

bill battle

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart may not be interested in succeeding Mal Moore at Alabama, but someone else with similar ties is.

A release from Alabama Monday morning stated that former Alabama player and Tennessee head coach Bill Battle has been recommended for the vacant AD spot. Barring a sudden change, Battle will accept the job.

“Over the past several weeks, we have had multiple conversations about who should follow Coach Moore as AD,” UA president Judy Bonner said in the release. “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.”

The school’s Board of Trustees will meet Friday morning to vote on the recommendation. Along with Bonner’s vote, Battle, 71, had Moore’s recommendation as well.

Following his coaching career with the Vols, Battle went on to found Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) in 1981 and acted as its president and CEO until 2002.

“It is with extremely mixed emotions that I am involved in this process,” Battle said in a statement statement. “My strong preference is that my teammate and longtime friend Mal Moore would be announcing another amazing accomplishment. When the University reached out to me, my instinct was to say no. 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.”

Alabama obviously knew what it wanted in a new AD: someone with experience and ties to the program, though Battle’s more recent experience includes a lot more business and less athletics.

In addition to his new position as special assistant to Bonner, Moore has been recommended to receive Athletics Director Emeritus status.

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12 Responses to “Alabama says Bill Battle recommended to succeed Mal Moore”
  1. be4bama says: Mar 21, 2013 10:53 AM

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of BILL BATTLE yesterday. Perfect fit!!!

  2. southernpatriots says: Mar 21, 2013 10:59 AM

    Congratulations to Bill and to the Tide.

    A great choice and may he have such a great success as did Mal. Best again to Mal on his treatment and full recovery and a long and enjoyable retirement with all his family.

  3. mogogo1 says: Mar 21, 2013 11:03 AM

    I’m not following why an official press release would be done on “recommendations” when the trustees will vote on those tomorrow. Why not save the release for then when it can definitively say “Battle is the new AD and Moore is now Athletic Director Emeritus”? It’d be one thing if the trustees weren’t going to meet for another 6 months, but waiting 24 hours before any kind of official announcement would seem to have made sense in this case.

  4. halbert53 says: Mar 21, 2013 11:39 AM

    Not opposed to Bill Battle, but given his age of 71 he seems more of a short-term solution. Maybe that’s the idea to fill the position quickly and then start looking for someone who would be AD for a long time.

  5. fatediesel says: Mar 21, 2013 12:05 PM

    I could see Battle as a stopgap for a couple years until Ozzie Newsome is ready to leave Baltimore to become the Alabama AD. Most people believe he wants to be the Alabama AD at some point but doesn’t want to leave coming off a Super Bowl title.

  6. be4bama says: Mar 21, 2013 12:22 PM

    I think you hit the nail on the head fate diesel….

  7. Deb says: Mar 21, 2013 1:09 PM

    Yes, fatediesel, that seems the likely scenario. So relieved at this turn of events. Although I’m still deeply concerned about Mal Moore’s health, I feel much better about the state of Alabama athletics going forward under Battle. It sounds as though Bama’s leaders have the situation well under control.

  8. thraiderskin says: Mar 21, 2013 3:17 PM

    Sort of sounds like Stan Lee (Marvel Comics) named this guy.

  9. rsmeans says: Mar 21, 2013 3:34 PM

    Alabama has made many gains during this last decade while Mal Moore was there but prior to Nick Saban Moore was not noted for making good decisions. There was a decline in football, basketball and many other sports. Do not kid yourself not all Alabama grads are winners. The Big winner in this decade is Nick Saban.

    While teaching at Alabama I knew both Mal Moore and Bill Battle and both were class guys who were always nice but neither was exceptional in the classroom or coaching. Alabama takes a step back on this choice and once Saban is to be replaced due to retirement we shall see the unfortunate result. Why was a winner like Ozzie Newsome not chosen. He has a great track record in management.

  10. halbert53 says: Mar 21, 2013 3:54 PM

    I think Ozzie has a short window and would then want to return to Alabama. Having worked in an athletic department, I know the most important quality in an AD is ability to make good decisions, especially personnel decisions.

  11. packerbadger says: Mar 21, 2013 5:49 PM

    Looks like a corrupt good ol’ boy. Should fit right in! Wonder if he’ll keep the same “donors”.

  12. Deb says: Mar 21, 2013 6:03 PM

    Many of us dreamed of having Ozzie follow Mal Moore as Bama’s AD. But no one expected Moore would be forced into sudden retirement. The Ravens are coming off a Super Bowl win, have lost key longtime veteran players, and are up against the cap. They’re in the middle of free agency, and it’s only a month until the draft. Ozzie is the first African-American GM in NFL history. He built that team, and he loves it. He’s not going to abandon it in these circumstances without notice. Battle was our best available option.

    Ozzie has a long history with Saban going back to Belichick’s Browns in the early 90s. Another opportunity to serve as AD will arise when the timing is right, and if that’s what he wants, he’ll come when Mama calls.

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