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Arizona AD Greg Byrne named new Alabama athletic director

Arizona's Athletic Director Greg Byrne, left, and starting quarterback Matt Scott (10) share a hug in celebration of winning an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/John Miller)

University of Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne is leaving Tucson to become the new director of athletics at the University of Alabama.

According to a press release on, Byrne will start his new job on March 1, pending the approval of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.

“Regina and I are honored to be joining the University of Alabama,” Byrne said in a press release. “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, 45, has been Arizona’s athletic director since 2010. He will replace Bill Battle, who will be leaving to become a special assistant to the president.

“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 R. 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.”

Byrne has been praised heavily for the work he has done in Tucson. He has garnered interest in the past from large schools such as Florida.

Byrne has a background in the SEC. He spent time at Kentucky and Mississippi State before becoming the athletic director at Mississippi State for under two years from 2008-2010 before coming to Tucson.

In Byrne’s time as athletic director, McKale Center and Arizona Stadium have both undergone either a major renovation or expansion.

Rich Rodriguez was hired as the head football coach in 2011 during Byrne’s time as athletic director. Rodriguez is coming off his worst season in Tucson after the team went 3-9 in 2016.

Byrne was also involved in retaining men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller after he was heavily pursued by Maryland in 2011. Miller’s team has won at least 25 games in each of the last four seasons and is well on their way to a fifth after a 16-2 start this season.

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