Former ‘Bama AD is Honored with Renaming of Building on Campus
The University of Alabama released Wednesday that the new Athletic Performance Center will be dedicated to a Crimson Tide legend- Bill Battle.
Formerly known as the “Alabama Strength and Conditioning Complex,” student-athletes from every sport used the building to train. According to the University of Alabama’s press release, the building was opened in 2013, during Battle’s time as Athletic Director, and served “all 17 of Alabama's programs in the 37,000 square-foot space.”
Battle, who served as A.D. from 2013-2017, was honored to be recognized among legends like Mal Moore, another Alabama great that has a building named after him.
"It was intriguing to me to have a building named next to Mal's (Moore) building," said Battle in the press release. "I thought that was a pretty cool thing, so that's what we decided to do. When I was in school here, there wasn't a brick on this whole area. The football fields were out here, and we would walk to practice some days. It's amazing to see everything that's gone on since then, and it's really an honor and a humbling experience to think about being here on this fantastic building."
Before his time as Athletic Director, the Birmingham native and Alabama graduate first made a name for himself when he played football for “Bear” Bryant from 1960-1962. Soon after his graduation, Bill packed up and headed north to West Point, New York where he served as an assistant coach for Army’s football team from 1964-1965.
After a year of serving as an assistant coach in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee, Battle was promoted to head coach of the football team. From 1970-1976, Battle’s Vols compiled a 59-22-2 overall record with four bowl victories in the five that the team appeared in.
After Battle left Tennessee, he took time off from football. That all changed in 2013 when Alabama A.D. Mal Moore stepped down due to health reasons. University President Judy Bonner appointed Battle to serve as Athletic Director, which he served for four years until 2017.
While his time was short, Battle made a name for himself at the Capstone as someone who cared deeply for the student-athletes at the university. According to RollTide.com, during Battle’s time as A.D., Alabama Athletics won “three NCAA team national championships (men's golf in 2013 and 2014; football in 2015); 10 SEC team championships in five different sports (three in football, two in gymnastics, two in men's golf, and one in women's golf, softball and women's tennis); 15 NCAA individual champions (seven in 2013-14, six in 2014-15, and two in 2015-16)” and countless other academic and athletic achievements.
Even though he retired from his position in 2017, Battle still involves himself with Crimson Tide athletics. It was reported recently that he donated enough money to give scholarships to the senior softball players so they could play in 2021 after a canceled 2020 season.