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Alabama president recommends Battle as athletic director

The SportsXchange

Bill Battle has received the recommendation of University of Alabama president Judy Bonner to become the school's new athletics director, the university announced in a press release.

Battle, 71, played under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and served as Tennessee's head coach from 1970-76. He'll replace Mal Moore, who retired Wednesday due to health concerns.

Alabama's Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the recommendation during a Friday morning conference call.

"Over the past several weeks, we have had multiple conversations about who should follow Coach Moore as AD," Bonner said in a statement. "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."

In the release, Moore personally recommended Battle.

"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 was a three-year starter from 1960-62, and played on Bryant's first national championship team in 1961. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.

He said in the statement that he's honored to be considered.

"The University of Alabama is at an all-time high in athletics, academics and most every other way," he said. "I am deeply honored to be asked to serve in the position of Athletics Director. It is an extraordinary challenge and a responsibility that I take very seriously. I will do my dead-level best to continue the successes on and off the playing fields that Alabama fans have enjoyed over the past few years."
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