March 22, 2010 9:20:00 AM
After less than two full years, Mississippi State University Athletic Director Greg Byrne is leaving to become athletic director at the University of Arizona, Mississippi State officials said this morning.
"Greg Byrne has informed me that he will leave Mississippi State to accept the athletic director''s job at the University of Arizona," MSU President Mark Keenum said in an e-mail sent to news outlets. "A Wednesday press conference has been scheduled in Tucson to make that announcement.
"Personally, I am saddened by this news because of the deep affection that Rhonda and I have for Greg and Regina. I am professionally disappointed because of my respect and appreciation for the outstanding job he has done here."
In the statement, Keenum said he "made every effort to convince Greg to remain in Starkville, including offering a generous package of financial incentives, but as he conveyed to me, his decision was driven by family considerations more than financial compensation. They have an opportunity to be in a place where they have roots and deep connections."
Byrne''s tenure began July 1, 2008, after then-President Robert "Doc" Foglesong hired him to replace Larry Templeton, who had been MSU athletic director since 1987. Byrne was previously MSU associate athletic director for development and external affairs, and had worked in the athletic departments of Oregon State and Kentucky.
Byrne holds a bachelor''s degree from Arizona State University and a master''s degree from MSU.
His tenure included hiring football coach Dan Mullen, who has brought new energy to the football program. He has also overseen upgrades across MSU''s athletic programs. Volleyball, baseball and softball fields have been redone; new video screens have been added to the football and baseball stadiums; and ground has been broken on a $12 million practice facility for men''s and women''s basketball.
"I cannot say enough about what Greg has meant to our athletic program," Keenum said. "I began working with Greg even before assuming the presidency at MSU, during the search for a new football coach, and our relationship has always been a close one. The strong foundation he laid has created tremendous momentum and excitement and given MSU fans much to cheer about, with the promise of greater things on the horizon."
Keenum said a national search for a new AD would begin immediately.
"I am committed to building on that foundation by hiring an energetic and visionary leader to keep the momentum going. I am confident we will find that highly motivated, enthusiastic individual to lead our great Mississippi State University athletic program," he said.
DSL commented at 3/22/2010 9:59:00 AM:
"including offering a generous package of financial incentives".
I have not seen those words in a while since all the cuts have been given to the State. Especially the cuts the Universities have been handed. It is nice to know there IS money out there somewhere !!
lem1970 commented at 3/22/2010 10:14:00 AM:
Well, he was only at State 2 years too long. I wonder if he made up a "wonder" book for Arizona like he did MSU to sell his "snake oil"
Rebel commented at 3/22/2010 10:24:00 AM:
Loosers will replace loosers. MS State has always found LOOSERS and I'm sure they will have no trouble hiring more loosers. GO Colonel REB.
Dawg commented at 3/22/2010 10:37:00 AM:
Now where did I last see Colonel Reb? Oh yeah, it was on the back of a beat up old Pontiac headed North after last year's Egg Bowl. The guy driving it seemed sad.
Now that the school up North has replaced Col. Reb with the crawfish mascot, everything is politically correct.
realdog commented at 3/22/2010 10:41:00 AM:
Things could be worse. I'd rather replace Greg Byrne than keep Pete Boone.
DAWG commented at 3/22/2010 10:44:00 AM:
"Rebel" you are an EXCELLENT representative for the so called "university of MS". Next time you try to give an insult, atleast make sure you know how to spell correctly. Hey, good job "LOOSER"! Typical *le Miss fan. Oh, and good luck with that entire finding a new mascot thing.
Bully fan commented at 3/22/2010 11:00:00 AM:
Hey Rebel maybe you could put in a word for the new mascot to be the BLONDE BOWHEADS..... All Airheads in Oxford...
mike15 commented at 3/22/2010 11:10:00 AM:
State finally wins a game and thats all they can talk about. What bout that 45-0 arse whipping you got in Oxford? and oh yeah, see ya in oxford bout November. Cant wait.
magnolia commented at 3/22/2010 11:13:00 AM:
"... a generous package of finanical incentives" Where is that money coming from? I guess the tuition increase will cover those incentives.
Rebel commented at 3/22/2010 11:15:00 AM:
Ya'll know David is right about finding a director in the cow pasture. And looser is the right word because State has been beat till they are loose. Can't beat Kentucky or North Carolina but always cry about Refs. Wah, Wah, Wah. Find a basketball coach while you are at it you loosers.
True Dog commented at 3/22/2010 11:23:00 AM:
Hey rebel, I think your mommy and daddy should take away your keyboard. You really are embarassing yourself. Did you forget MSU swept in basketball this year? Probably so!
Dawg commented at 3/22/2010 11:28:00 AM:
Well Rebel you can't bitch about the refs. unless you make it to the big game.
Rebel commented at 3/22/2010 12:14:00 PM:
What big game did state make it to? They got beat in second round of the NIT. Rebels still in. WAH, wah,wah!!!!!!!!AT LEAST I GOTS A MOMMA AND DADDY AND KNOW WHO THE ARE....
SmartGuy commented at 3/22/2010 12:25:00 PM:
Sounds like all of you people commenting were raised on a plantation/cow pasture...
Dawg commented at 3/22/2010 12:59:00 PM:
"What big game did state make it to?" The Southeastern Conference championship game of course. They were the defending Southeastern Conference basketball champions, but you forget that too. As for the NIT, who cares? Maybe the Oxford Crawfish can back their way through that field of 2nd tier losers then you can toot your horn.
john commented at 3/22/2010 4:28:00 PM:
His billfold is a lot heavier than his heart! Is any Coach worth a million dollars? Someon people, wake-up to what has happen to ALL the universities in this country. So sad, so sad!
chance commented at 3/22/2010 7:18:00 PM:
Realdog: You wish you had Pete!
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