With the hiring of Greg Byrne as Arizona athletic director, there are going to be mixed feelings.
However, one look at the reaction of the people around him makes it easy to get excited about this hire.
"I 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," Mississippi State president Mark Keenum said. "They have an opportunity to be in a place where they have roots and deep connections."
One of the legacies that Byrne leaves at Mississippi State in his short time there was that he helped solidy the foundation of the athletic department.
"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."
Byrne comes into Arizona with somewhat of an easy job in the sense that he really does not have to make any coaching hires. He is sure to evaluate every sport on campus, but there are few sports, if any, where the coach is truly in trouble.
Instead, he will be asked to raise money and make sure that the upgrades in the athletic department are on track, something that will put the UA in a better position to compete with the rest of the conference.
Byrne knows exactly what his job is as he steps into his new role at Arizona and looks forward to doing so.
"There is little question that this decision is a good one for my family," he said. "It places us back in a part of the country with which we are familiar, one that returns us near family and life-long friends. But this decision was more than just family.
"My new position offers many of the same challenges we faced here at Mississippi State. We will attack those challenges in the same way we did here."
Byrne stepping into ready role
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