TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama announced Sunday night that Bill Battle would be stepping down as the university’s athletic director.
Battle will assume a new role as special assistant to University of Alabama president Stuart Bell.
Battle, currently in his fourth year as director of athletics, had led athletics department since March of 2013, when he succeeded the late Mal Moore.
Bell said that Battle will continue to lead the department until a successor transitions into the Director of Athletics role.
“Bill has done a tremendous job as Director of Athletics, and has accomplished so much during his career,” Bell said in a statement. “His business expertise, coupled with his coaching experience and his strong understanding of the role an athletic department has in the daily fabric of a university, has allowed us to achieve the great successes we have enjoyed during his tenure. We are blessed to have the continued benefit of his counsel.”
Battle said in a statement, “It’s been a distinct privilege and honor serving as Director of Athletics these last four years. When I took over this role my wife, Mary, and I made a commitment to serving four years and I am pleased to have been able to do just that. There are so many people in the department who do a great job every day to make the Crimson Tide successful. I am deeply grateful to each and every one of them for their extraordinary efforts and loyalty to the University. Being able to lead this department has been an honor and a privilege for which I am most grateful.
“It is my hope that during my tenure here, we have been able to make a difference in young people’s lives and at the same time move forward on many different fronts. I look forward to continuing to serve the university by working closely with the new AD to assist in a smooth transition. At the end of that period I look forward to working with President Bell in the role of special advisor assistant to advance his strategic initiatives for The University of Alabama. I look forward to remaining active with the Crimson Tide Foundation and supporting Crimson Tide athletics.
“I want everyone to know that my health was not a factor in this decision as, at this time, I am in full remission and I feel great. When I came here in 2013, I committed to Dr. (Robert) Witt that I would be here for four years, or the equivalent of another college degree. Last summer, before my medical procedure, I told Dr. Bell that I was expecting, as were my doctors, to come through that procedure very well, and that I intended to serve out the last year of my contract.
“I told him that he should be looking for a replacement. That process has been going on over the last few months. As you know, in this business, high-level changes are hard to map out and announce very far in advance. Meanwhile, I would like to continue to help the University, but I’d also like to be able to spend more time at our farm in Georgia and in Jackson Hole, the sort of things a full-time AD job doesn’t really permit.”