Greg Byrne wants to see the Arizona Wildcats reach the Rose Bowl.
“We’ve been knocking on that door of getting over the hump, and now we need to do that,” he told ArizonaSports.com’s Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett podcast.
And, from the sounds of it, Byrne thinks Mike Stoops is the guy to get the job done, even if things seem to have maybe plateaued the last couple of years.
“Coach Stoops has really improved our program tremendously from what he took over,” Byrne said. “He’s improved it academically, he’s improved it from a competitive standpoint and that’s raised the bar and expectation level.”
Hence the Rose Bowl talk.
Byrne said the key is giving Stoops and the football program the necessary resources to compete to play in the Grandaddy of them All for the first time in the program’s history.
They are in the process of doing just that.
There are plans to enclose the north end zone of Arizona Stadium as well as continually upgrade the workout facilities and locker rooms, but the change most people will notice is the team’s new video board in the south end zone.
The board will be tough not to notice, as it is the size of a basketball court. Byrne said he can see it from his house, which is nearly five miles away from the stadium.
“It will absolutely, what is already a very good environment on football Saturdays for us, will be even a better one now,” Byrne said.
Byrne said the board, as part of a game day experience, will help land recruits, and not just for football.
“I remember Sean Miller telling me after the Iowa football game last year what an impact that had on a few of his recruits that ended up committing after that weekend,” he said. “That energy and enthusiasm is contagious so we need to do nothing but continue to grow that.”
That’s all part of the process of turning the University of Arizona into one of the country’s elite schools, and not just for basketball.
If successful, UA may end up making that trip to Pasadena sometime in the near future.