Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alabama Fans Happy with New Athletic Director
By Ellis Eskew

In a news conference Friday, the University of Alabama announced their new athletic director would be former Crimson Tide player Bill Battle.

Battle played with Mal Moore on Bear Bryant's 1961 national championship team, going on to serve as head coach at the University of Tennessee in the 1970's.

 "I had time and good health and the desire to see Mal's legacy continue," said Battle in a news conference.

And fans seem to be very pleased with the decision.

"I think he will do a great job as long as he keeps the tradition of the things that Mal Moore set in motion going, and the athletic program will thrive in the future," said Derrick Roberts.

Former Alabama player Mike Washington actually played football when Mal Moore was coach. He had a lot of respect for the man who is stepping down.

"He was actually quarterback coach and you very seldom heard him raise his voice. He always spoke to you as a gentleman, a man, a player. And when he became athletic director, we all knew they had a good man," said Washington.

Even though Battle may have some big shoes to fill, Washington is confident he can do the job.

"By coach Battle coming to the University of Alabama, he's going to bring the same thing that Mal Moore was doing, getting money, keeping facilities up and adding new facilities, doing all he can to recruit and keep the university on top," said Washington.

Other fans are also are excited about the future with Bill Battle.

"He coached at Tennessee and that would probably be the only drawback. But he played for Bear Bryant, and he's got rich Alabama ties. If anybody could fill Mal Moore's shoes, if Mal Moore needs a rich legacy to follow, Bill Battle will be an excellent choice," said David Owen.

University of Alabama President Judy Bonner says the 71-year-old Battle will make 620-thousand dollars each year over four years.

Mal Moore stepped down earlier this week due to health concerns.