January 4, 2007

Moore talks about Saban hiring

He's been questioned and doubted throughout the process of Alabama's most recent coaching search but when the day was done, Mal Moore came through and brought the proven head coach he promised to Alabama.

Bringing Nick Saban to Alabama was a tall task but one that Moore never backed down from.

"This was a very tedious and very hard decision for him," Moore explained Thursday. "There were a lot of things for him to overcome in making this decision but I felt strongly that he genuinely wanted back in the college ranks. That's why I felt I needed to hang with him and give him that opportunity. As I stated a month ago, I wanted to hire a championship caliber coach. We stuck with that to the end. I realize that it put me on thin ice but I felt like I had to do it for the university and for the players."

It wasn't always a clear path to Saban, as early obstacles caused Moore to go with a different candidate that ultimately turned Alabama down, West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez.

"Rich was a championship caliber coach and one of the top coaches on our list," Moore said. "At that time we weren't sure where we stood with Nick so we made the decision to go for Rodriguez. After he turned us down, I refocused back on Nick immediately."

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