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Alabama is hiring Arizona's Greg Byrne as athletic director

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 13:06:52-05
Alabama is hiring Greg Byrne to replace retiring athletic director Bill Battle.
 
The university announced Monday that Byrne, currently Arizona's vice president for athletics, will take over March 1. The hire needs approval from Alabama trustees.
 
The 45-year-old Byrne has run Arizona's athletic department since 2010, following a stint as Mississippi State's athletic director. Byrne is the son of Bill Byrne, who retired as Texas A&M's athletic director in 2012.
 
The 75-year-old Battle announced his retirement plans Sunday night, saying he will become special assistant to the president.
 
Byrne joins an athletic program that has won 10 national championships in five sports since 2008, including four titles in football.
 
Arizona Associate director of athletics Erika Hanson Barnes will replace Byrne, on an interim basis beginning on February 1st.
 
Hanson is a former Wildcat softball player who helped Arizona win the women's world series back in 2001. She said, "I think as an athlete here, I have tremendous passion for this place, and I get emotional thinking about it. I was recruited by Coach Candrea from southern California. This is a wonderful place to work."  
 
Wildcat basketball coach Sean Miller added, "You know, obviously, its kind of an empty feeling with him leaving only because of how meaningful he was to our program, our university. I know that he'll go on to do great things at Alabama. They are lucky to have him."