Mal Moore left indelible mark at Alabama

We at the SEC blog want to express our deepest condolences to the Mal Moore family and everybody at Alabama over Moore’s passing Saturday at age 73.

Moore was so much a part of that football program and athletic department and, really, one of the few remaining links at the university to Paul "Bear" Bryant.

His role in Nick Saban’s hiring and jump-starting the Alabama football program back on track will forever be remembered by Crimson Tide fans.

On a personal note, two of my most enduring memories of Moore came right after Alabama won its first national championship under Saban, in 2009, and last season after Alabama won its third title in four seasons under Saban.

We were standing just outside the Alabama locker room at the Rose Bowl following the Tide’s 37-21 victory over Texas, and somebody asked Moore if he felt like the $4 million a year contract that the university had given Saban was a good investment.

Moore beamed. “Hell yeah!” he said in his familiar drawl.

He then giddily offered that a statue of Saban would be going up on Alabama’s famed Walk of Champions, just adjacent to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Last season, an emotional Moore stood on the field at Sun Life Stadium in Miami following the Tide’s 42-14 dismantling of Notre Dame and struggled to find the right words for what it meant to him and the entire Alabama family to be along for such a historic ride.

“It never gets old, and the best part is seeing all these great Alabama people soaking it all up,” said Moore, his smile as wide as the gaping holes the Alabama offensive line punched in the Irish defense that night.

Seeing the immense pride draped across Moore’s face in both of those instances is something I’ll never forget.

His love for Alabama was legendary. The same goes for the way he so selflessly and humbly served his beloved alma mater for more than 50 years.