The University of Arizona will apparently be looking for a new face to lead its athletic department.
Greg Byrne, UA’s Vice President for Athletics, is expected to be named as the new athletic director of the University of Alabama as soon as Monday, according to Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star. Jeff Stevens, who has his name on the new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, is the one who confirmed the news.
Alabama’s current athletic director, Bill Battle, recently completed cancer treatment and returned to work after a leave of absence, but Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News reported earlier Sunday that Battle plans to step down this week, opening the door for Byrne.
Byrne was hired by UA in March 2010 following a stint at Mississippi State. Under his leadership, the UA has completed multiple major projects including the construction of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, the addition of two video boards in Arizona Stadium, and an $80 million renovation project on McKale Center.
He also helped transition Arizona baseball’s move to Hi Corbett Field, and oversaw the completion of the new softball clubhouse.
Byrne has hired several of the UA’s current head coaches, including football’s Rich Rodriguez, baseball’s Jay Johnson, and women's basketball's Adia Barnes.
Byrne had previously been linked to other jobs, including one at the University of Florida, but there weren’t any reports connecting him to Alabama, making this a shocking development, to say the least.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire