Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle to retire

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — After nearly four years of leading the University of Alabama Atheltic Department, Bill Battle will be resigning from the role, the University announced Sunday night.

Battle, 75, succeeded Mal Moore as Director of Athletics in March of 2013. He will continue to lead the department until a successor is named. At that time, Battle will move into his new role as Special Assistant to the President.

“Bill has done a tremendous job as Director of Athletics and has accomplished so much during his career,” University of Alabama President Stuart Bell said in a statement released Sunday night. “His business expertise, coupled with his coaching experience and his strong understand 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.”

“It’s been a distinct privilege and honor serving as Director of Athletics these last four years,” Battle said in a released statement. “There are some 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.”

Battle said his health had nothing to do with his retirement. Last summer, Battle took a leave of absence to undergo cancer treatment for multiple myeloma. He returned to his position in July.

“I am in full remission and I feel great,” Battle said. “When I came here in 2013, I committed to Dr. Witt that I would be here for four years, or the equivalent of another college degree. Last summer, before my medial 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.”

Sunday night, multiple reports have said that current Arizona Athletic Director and former Mississippi State Athletic Director Greg Byrne will be named the new athletic director at Alabama as soon as Monday. Byrne, 45, has been in Tuscon since 2010.

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