Friday, October 29, 2010

Guest Speaker: Greg Byrne – Arizona’s Athletic Director

Yesterday, the SMBA ’11 class had the pleasure of welcoming Greg Byrne, the University of Arizona’s Director of Athletics, to the classroom. Byrne, in town for the Wildcats football game against UCLA, talked about his time as Mississippi State’s AD and the type of culture he is trying to create in Arizona.

He said, “Passion, enthusiasm, and interest are the best things about college athletics, but they are also the worst things too.”

Byrne loves the fact that U of A is—really—the only game in Tucson and, therefore, has competitive advantage. But, still, he emphasized Arizona’s commitment to customer satisfaction and academic performance. He also discussed how he’s changing the atmosphere for athletics, which includes installing a large video board and implementing the Wildcat Walk to enhance the fan experience.

Byrne also discussed the popularity of women’s softball, the 1-and-done rule for basketball, conference realignment, how he deals with agents, advantages and disadvantages of social media, enforcing academic integrity, and paying student-athletes, and having his father as AD of Texas A&M.

SMBA ’11 thanks Byrne for visiting the classroom!

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