TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — After news Sunday night that University of Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle was retiring from the position, one name was being connected with taking over the position. Today, the University confirmed those reports, announcing the hiring of University of Arizona Vice President of Athletics Greg Byrne as the new Director of Athletics in Tuscaloosa.
“We knew Bill was considering a change, and we wanted to hire someone who can assume that mantle of leadership and continue the tradition of success that Bill and so many others before him have established,” said University of Alabama President Stuart Bell. “We believe Greg Byrne is uniquely qualified for this role, and we are pleased to announce he has accepted the position of athletic director here at The University of Alabama.”
“Regina and I are honored to be joining the University of Alabama,” Byrne said in a release from the university. “I have incredible respect and admiration for both Coach Battle and Coach Moore, as well as all of the talented coaches and staff in place. We look forward to returning to the SEC and being a part of Alabama’s outstanding tradition.”
Byrne has been the Vice President of Athletics at Arizona since 2010, a position he took over after leaving Mississippi State as their athletic director. He has also spent time at Kentucky, Oregon State, and Oregon.
While at Arizona, Byrne helped the Wildcats athletic program complete construction on a $72 million football facility and finish the first phase of an $80 million renovation to Arizona’s basketball arena, the McKale Center.
Byrne will officially take over the role on March 1st. Battle will transition to his new position as Special Assistant to the President at that time. Until Byrne takes over, Battle will continue as athletics director at Alabama.
An official introduction of Byrne is expected later this week.