Greg Byrne Quickly Gaining Support At Alabama After Strong First Year As AD
Though GREG BYRNE has only been Alabama's AD since March, he is already "cementing himself as one of the nation's most highly regarded administrators," according to a profile by Matt Zenitz of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS. Longtime members of the Alabama athletic department say that they "can already see why people in the college sports world were so complimentary when Alabama hired Byrne away from Arizona." Football coach NICK SABAN described Byrne as "very easy to work with, easygoing, very well-organized, very supportive." Saban: "He's trying to do things that he can to promote a lot of positives throughout the athletic department, the organization, the university, our fan base and constituency of people who support the program, cultivating a new generation of supporters for Alabama football and Alabama athletics. I think he's done a great job so far. I'm very pleased. I've been pleased with everybody that we've had. I loved MAL (MOORE). I loved BILL (BATTLE). And I love Greg." Aside from having to "fire and hire a baseball coach, much of this first year in Tuscaloosa for Byrne has been spent learning, evaluating, building relationships and identifying ways for the Alabama athletic department to improve while at the same time being respectful and mindful of the school's history and tradition." Byrne and his predecessor Battle "speak multiple times per week." Now Byrne has "put together a strategic plan for the next five years called 'The Standard' that was recently completed after months of work." It was "presented to Alabama's student-athlete advisory committee" last Tuesday and was released publicly on Thursday. Byrne is "focused on improving fan experience at games, engaging current and prospective fans through tools such as social media and on bettering the resources provided to student-athletes" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 11/11).