Nick Saban took some time during his opening comments at Thursday’s meeting with local reporters to recognize former Alabama coach and athletic director Mal Moore on the 10-year anniversary of his passing.

Moore was a quarterback at Alabama from 1958-1962. He then joined the Crimson Tide’s staff as a graduate assistant. Moore was with the program in a coaching capacity from 1964-1982. After several years away, he returned to Tuscaloosa in 1990 and worked as an assistant once again until transitioning into an administrative role in the athletic department in 1994.

Moore then became the program’s athletic director in 1999 and, several years later, hired Saban. The partnership worked out pretty well for the pair.

“Mal Moore was really close, a good friend, a great supporter. Really loved the University of Alabama,” Saban said Thursday.  He was probably the biggest reason that we came here because of the relationship he developed with Miss Terry and us. It’s been 10 years since he’s been gone and we certainly miss him.”

Later in his availability, Saban was asked to share a favorite story he has of Moore.

“Mal used to always come in on Sunday when I’d be in the back room by myself watching film,” Saban began. “I usually go through the previous game with the coaches. I’d watch it early in the morning, I go to church and then come in and watch it with the coaches, and then start on the other team. And every Sunday about 3 in the afternoon he’d come in and just sit down and I was complaining to him about when Mark Ingram was here his sophomore year, he’d carry the ball in the wrong arm a lot. But he was having a really, really good year and we were having a good year and I said something to Mal. I said, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to get this guy to carry the ball in the right hand.’

“And he said, ‘You know, when I was coaching the quarterbacks here’ – and I forget the quarterback’s name – he said, ‘I told Coach Bryant’ – and it was the starting quarterback and he was a good player – ‘that if he did something different with his throwing motion that it would really make him a better passer.’ And Coach Bryant looked at him and said, ‘Don’t mess with the guy.’

“So what Coach Moore was telling me is, ‘Don’t mess with Mark Ingram.’ But he used to tell me stories like that about players all the time, you know, from the past. I enjoyed it so much. I probably didn’t tell the story very well but it was a lesson learned that sometimes really good players, they might not do things exactly like you want them to but if they’re productive, it’s not worth changing ’em.”