To CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Alabama’s hiring of Greg Byrne as athletic director sent a strong message about the Crimson Tide’s intentions for the future.
Sure, most expect Byrne to be the man who eventually targets and hires Nick Saban’s replacement in Tuscaloosa. But Dodd views Byrne’s hire as a statement that Alabama wants to be the best at everything.
Check out part of Dodd’s column below:
It’s pretty simple on the surface: Byrne was hired to make what could possibly be the most important college football hire of a generation. That is, replace Nick Saban. Maybe. Someday. All Byrne needs to do for now is get along with the great and powerful coach.
With Byrne’s hiring, Alabama is making a statement it wants to be the best at, well, everything. Byrne’s biggest accomplishment at Arizona may have been signing Sean Miller to an extension in 2011 after the basketball coach spoke with Maryland.
Arizona is a national basketball program that has soared under Miller and Byrne. Football coach Rich Rodriguez has plateaued recently, but his hiring was seen as a landmark in athletic administration. Byrne tweeted out the hiring of Rodriguez in 2011.
Alabama will continue to soar under Byrne. His name comes up for just about every major job that his open, most recently at Florida and USC.
There’s a bunch to Dodd’s point. Arizona has become a consistent contender under Miller, and the pieces are in place for the Crimson Tide to become a national player for a long time in much more than football.
Don’t be mistaken, football will be priority No. 1 in Tuscaloosa. But if Byrne can make the Crimson Tide a well-rounded athletic department during his stint, he will impress many eyes throughout the SEC and across the country.
It’s clear Alabama is aiming big with the hire. We’ll find out if Byrne can deliver.