The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the University of Alabama has unanimously approved the hiring of Bill Battle as the new Athletics Director. The vote was made via teleconference on Friday morning.
In a press release issued on Thursday morning, President Judy Bonner stated that she would recommend to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees approval of hiring Battle to replace the recently resigned Mal Moore.
"Over the past several weeks, we have had multiple conversations about who should follow Coach Moore as AD," said Bonner. "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."
Battle played under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for three years as a starter and was a part of Bryant's first national championship team in 1961. After school, Battle served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma and an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy while serving a two-year military tour. In 1966, Battle moved to the University of Tennessee to take an assistant coach's position before being named Tennessee's head coach four years later. Under Coach Battle, the Volunteers went 59-22-2 in seven years and won four out of five bowl games.
According to UA officials, former Athletics Director Mal Moore is pleased with Battle for the spot. This statement from Moore was included in Thursday's press release:
"When it became apparent that I was no longer going to be able to direct the Athletics Department," Moore said, "I felt that Bill Battle was the one person who could sustain all the good things that have happened the past few years while also moving us forward with planned improvements."
"Certainly, his background at the University as a student-athlete coupled with a career as coach and his creativity and unparalleled success at Collegiate Licensing gives him an extensive background to lead the Crimson Tide Athletics Department.
"Bill is a man of unimpeachable integrity who understands the heritage and tradition of The University of Alabama. He has been a friend of mine since we were teammates and an individual who has always gone beyond the call of duty in helping the Athletics Department during my tenure as its director."
"I personally recommended Bill to Dr. Bonner for this job knowing he will appropriately support our coaches in their efforts to bring championship teams home to Tuscaloosa and ensure that our student-athletes earn their degrees and represent the Crimson Tide in the same manner that Bill did as a player and as an alumnus."
Battle says he is extremely honored to be considered for the position.
"It is with extremely mixed emotions that I am involved in this process," said Battle. "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.
President Bonner says in the release that she will also be recommending Moore to be named named Athletics Director Emeritus as well as special assistant to the president.
"Mal Moore's legacy surrounds us every day," Bonner said. "From state-of-the-art facilities, to raising more than $240 million in capital improvements to UA's athletic facilities as well as support for UA's students and athletes, to multiple teams that have excelled at every level, to attracting top-rated coaches and staff, he has upheld and embodied the Crimson Tide spirit in every endeavor. It is my pleasure to recommend to the Board that he be awarded another first in a career filled with them – UA's first Athletics Director Emeritus. As we move forward, I am confident that Coach Battle will continue the momentum that Mal established."
Battle's salary is said to be set at $620,000.
Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive