On Thursday, new Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne addressed the media for the first time since getting hired.
Here are some of the highlights from his introductory press conference:
- Alabama president Stuart R. Bell opens up the press conference by thanking outgoing AD Bill Battle for his service to the university.
- Bell on Byrne: We set out with one man in mind for this job, and that was Greg Byrne.
- Bell says the more people Alabama talked to, the more they realized Byrne was the right man for the job. Outlines his resume from his time at Arizona, including the facility upgrades he oversaw in Tucson.
- Byrne takes the podium: “We are so excited to be here at the University of Alabama.” Thanks his family for their support.
- Byrne says he learned a lot about leadership from his parents, including his father Bill Byrne, former AD at Texas A&M. “Being around college athletics was a special experience for my family.”
- The new AD makes a point to thank his wife, Regina, for how she’s stuck with him through so much.
- Byrne says he and his staff are going to work their tails off everyday and bring great energy for the student-athletes and the fans. Thanks the president and chancellor for their support. “There’s never been a school that has shown more support for intercollegiate athletics than the University of Alabama. So thank you for your leadership.”
- Byrne on Saban: I can’t tell you how excited we will be to get to work with him. He can’t be here today because he’s out recruiting, but recruiting’s pretty important, so we’re glad he’s doing that.
- He says he and his wife love and appreciate everyone at Arizona, and will miss the school and the student-athletes very much. Says their phones haven’t stopped buzzing with kind messages since he took the new job.
- “It’s great to be back in the SEC. It really is.”
- Byrne said he was in awe of the campus when he first visited years ago. When he went to the stadium for a game and saw the intro video with Bear Bryant talking before the game, “the hair on the back of my neck stood up.”
- “These are historical times at the university of Alabama. The leadership that coach Saban has brought has been absolutely incredible.”
- “But we can never be complacent.” Byrne ays the athletic department has to have a plan to sustain that tradition into the future.
- Closing statement: “Regina and I are so excited to call the University of Alabama home. Roll Tide.”