ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Alabama’s Greg Byrne says he’s not a candidate for Pac-12 commissioner

Mar 26, 2021, 12:43 PM
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)...
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Alabama Crimson Tide athletic director Greg Byrne on Friday ended any speculation he could be a candidate to fill the Pac-12 commissioner job opening.

Byrne, the former Arizona Wildcats athletic director, has not been linked to the vacancy but was assumed to be a candidate because of his ties to the West Coast and success at his many stops.

“It’s certainly flattering to be mentioned for such a prestigious position,” Byrne told The Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hunt on Friday. “(Byrne’s wife) Regina and I grew up in the Pac-12 footprint and have many friends and fond memories out there. However, the University of Alabama has become our home and it is an honor to work here with our incredible student-athletes, coaches, staff, university and fans.

“We have a lot of positive momentum across our department. This is where we hope to finish our career and do all we can to make a positive impact. I will not be a candidate for the Pac-12 commissioner.”

There is a vacancy set for June when current Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott steps down from his role that he’s held since 2009, when the conference was still the Pac-10.

Byrne led the Arizona athletic department from 2010-17 and has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State.

He inherited head men’s basketball coach Sean Miller when he took the Arizona job in 2010, but was involved in the firing of football coach Mike Stoops and hiring replacement Rich Rodriguez in 2012. Byrne is also credited with raising funds and pushing for the football stadium’s north end zone project, as well as moving the baseball team’s games to Hi-Corbett field. The baseball team won the College World Series in 2012.

Before landing in Tucson, Byrne worked in the athletic departments in Oregon and Oregon State spanning 1995-2002 and then with Kentucky from 2002-05. He landed the Arizona job after a stint from 2006-10 with Mississippi State, where he was elevated to athletic director in 2008.

Byrne departed Arizona for the Alabama AD opening in 2017 and has kept the football program led by coach Nick Saban atop the national pecking order as well as hired basketball coach Nate Oats, who has led his No. 2-seeded team to a Sweet 16 appearance this Sunday.

Byrne joins current Arizona State vice president for university athletics Ray Anderson as potential candidates who have publicly taken themselves out of consideration for the Pac-12 commissioner job.

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