Moore takes fans behind the scenes

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It would be difficult to find someone who knows more about the University of Alabama than Mal Moore. The former player, former coach and current athletics director on Tuesday shared some experiences with the Chilton County Chapter of the UA National Alumni Association.

An estimated 180 crimson-clad people at the Clanton First United Methodist Church Helen Parrish Activity Center listened to Moore tell stories about legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and the wooing of current football coach Nick Saban and basketball coach Anthony Grant.

Club member Phillip Price introduced Moore by mentioning the seven national championship rings and 14 Southeastern Conference championship rings in Moore’s possession and a his efforts to upgrade Alabama’s athletic facilities, which are now among the best in the country.

“I’ve been there a long time, and I don’t remember a time when there was the excitement about the direction of our academics and the direction of our athletics, just the oneness of everyone at the University,” Moore said, and his hiring of Saban and Grant have contributed to the momentum.

Moore told the crowd about how he checked out of, and then back into, his hotel in Miami three times while trying to convince Saban to come to Tuscaloosa and then rode with Saban and his family to the airport while a news helicopter hovered overhead.

“It was like a movie,” Moore said.

Grant, meanwhile, fell in love with the University while on a daylong visit. Moore said Grant’s first stop was to the President’s Mansion to meet UA President Robert Witt—and for the scenery.

Moore said his favorite sight on the UA campus is looking from the balcony of the mansion across University Boulevard to Denny Chimes and the Quad.

“Brother, if you don’t like that, something’s wrong with you,” Moore said. “As the day wore on, you could sense [Grant] falling in love with the University.”

The chapter is trying to raise funds for a scholarship endowment for a Chilton County student to attend the University.