Heart of crimson

Published 10:28am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Former Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore was a storyteller.

At least that’s one of the ways his friend and Atmore native Woody McCorvey will remember him.

A current assistant athletic director at Clemson University and former Crimson Tide coach, who was on staff with Moore from 1990 to 1993, McCorvey marveled at the Dozier native’s skills with communication.

It was those skills that helped Moore have success at the administrative level, especially in the area of fundraising, McCorvey said.

“You look at the amount of money they’ve raised for athletic facilities,” he said. “The only way they were able to do that is with a guy like Mal Moore. He was a great storyteller.”

McCorvey said Moore could work a room with stories about former coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, or Nick Saban.

“Anytime he had an audience and would talk to them about fundraising he captivated them with stories,” McCorvey said.

Moore died Saturday, March 30 at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. from a pulmonary illness. His death came 10 days after he stepped down as athletic director.

The 73-year-old had a connection to his alma mater as a player, coach and administrator. In recent years he was best known as the man who hired head football coach Nick Saban, but he also played for Bear Bryant and coached with Gene Stallings. He had a connection to 10 national championships at Alabama.

McCorvey said although he’s known more for playing and later coaching football at Alabama, it was his love of the university’s other sports that helped him succeed in his position.

“He was proud of the accomplishment of all other sports,” McCorvey said.

In addition to three football national championships in four years, teams in softball, gymnastics and women’s golf have also taken championships back to Tuscaloosa.

McCorvey said Moore was also a great husband to his late wife, Charlotte, and a great father to his daughter, Heather.

“He and heather were very close,” McCorvey said.

McCorvey said he and Moore spoke regularly on the phone, the last time being a month or so ago. He last saw Moore in New York City at a meeting of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, where he was given an award as the nation’s top athletic director.

Escambia County high School basketball coach and former Alabama wide receiver

Earlando Courtney said it’s going to be tough for current Tide athletic director Bill Battle to fill Moore’s shoes.

“He’s done so many great things over the years,” Courtney said. “He’s going to be a tough act to follow.”

Courtney said the loss is not unlike losing a family member.

“Anytime a member of the family dies it resonates with all of us,” he said. “We’re all grieving to a certain degree.”

A public service commemorating Moore’s life will take place at Coleman Coliseum on the University of Alabama campus on Thursday, April 4 at 3 p.m.

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