TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — New Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne is excited for the opportunity to work with head football coach Nick Saban.
Byrne said he and his wife Regina spent time with Saban and his wife Terry during the hiring process and had a great conversation.
“I can’t tell you how much I admire the leadership that’s he’s provided for Alabama football, Alabama athletics and the University of Alabama,” Byrne said. “I know how involved he is in from a recruiting standpoint with a lot of our coaches. I can’t tell you how excited we will be to get the chance to work with him.”
Byrne will take over March 1, replacing Bill Battle who served as the Crimson Tide’s athletic director for four years.
Byrne, 45, currently is vice president for athletics at the University of Arizona.
Saban is on the road recruiting and was unable to attend Byrne’s introductory press conference.
“Recruiting is pretty important so I’m glad he’s out there doing it,” Byrne said. “We’re honored to have the chance to work with him, not only as one of the greatest football coaches of all time, but one of the greatest coaches of all time. I couldn’t be more thrilled with that.”
A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Byrne accepted his job at Arizona in March 2010. He helped Arizona athletics become a prominent player nationally and in the Pac-12 by focusing on five important principles: Graduate Student-Athletes; Follow the Rules; Represent the University and Athletic Department in a First-Class Manner; Practice Sound Fiscal Management; and Compete for Championships. During his tenure at Arizona, he has also focused on new fundraising initiatives, member expansion for the Wildcat Club and facility upgrades.
Prior to arriving at Arizona, Byrne was Director of Athletics at Mississippi State University, where he was the youngest athletic director in the Southeastern Conference and the youngest to lead an athletic program at the NCAA Division I-A level. He started out his career at Mississippi State in 2006 as Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs.
Byrne earned his bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University in 1994 and his master’s degree from Mississippi State in 2009. He is married to the former Regina Misa of Junction City, Ore., and the couple has two sons, Nick and Davis.