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Byrne: ‘Proud of the culture’ leaving behind at Arizona

In this Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 photo, Arizona Vice President for Athletics, Greg Byrne looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Gardner Webb in Tucson, Ariz. Byrne became Arizona's athletic director in 2010 and has led the department to unprecedented heights. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
LISTEN: Greg Byrne, Former UofA and current Alabama athletic director

With Athletic Director Greg Byrne moving from the University of Arizona to the University of Alabama, Arizona will need to move forward, and Byrne believes that he has left them in a good position to do so.

“I’m proud of the culture we have here at Arizona,” he said Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM‘s Doug and Wolf. “If you talk to the people in our staff, I think they enjoy coming to work every day.”

Part of this culture Byrne has worked to instill at Arizona throughout his six years in Tucson show in the staff’s commitment toward working to serve something bigger than themselves.

“Nobody’s bigger than the block A,” he said. “We’re here to serve our university. We’re here to serve our student-athletes. We’re here to serve our fans.”

Because of this, Arizona finds many of its teams in solid shape, including the baseball team, which made it to the College World Series Finals last season, and the men’s basketball team, which is currently ranked No. 14 in the country.

Byrne credits a lot of his success at UA that allowed him to move on to “one of the great programs in our country” to the people around him.

“We’ve got great people, and that’s why we’ve been able to have a lot of the highlights that we’ve had, and we’ll miss them greatly,” he said.

The new Alabama AD has “mixed emotions” about leaving Arizona because of his affinity for Wildcats fans, who he described as “outstanding.”

Moving forward, Byrne takes over the reigns to one of the most prestigious athletic institutions in the country, as Alabama’s football team has won four national championships and gone 112-13 since 2008.

Byrne will likely have a much bigger budget with the Tide as well, as Alabama athletics made over $148.9 million in 2015, which ranked fifth in the country according to USA Today, while Arizona made just upwards of $87.1 million, which was 35th.

“I guess I was more honored,” he said. “The fact to even get the call that you’re even thought of along those lines. And, quite frankly, it’s because of the great staff and people that we have here at Arizona that have worked so hard.”


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