With nearly 30 years of experience in sports administration, Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne has built an impressive career highlighted by consistent competitive success, innovative strategies, vigorous fundraising and a strong emphasis on academic excellence and student-athlete enhancement.
Named Alabama’s 17th Director of Athletics on January 17, 2017, he made an immediate impact on the Crimson Tide, developing and implementing both The Standard, a strategic plan outlining the mission statement and core values of Alabama Athletics, and The Crimson Standard, a 10-year, $600 million capital initiative focused on the renovation of facilities and development of infrastructure.
Additionally, The Standard provides benchmarks in the areas of academics, student-athlete welfare, athletics success, financial resources, facilities, staffing and operating with integrity, while The Crimson Standard is designed to provide the foundation for future success in all aspects of the collegiate experience.
Under Byrne’s leadership, the Crimson Tide has:
- Posted its highest finish in program history in the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, placing seventh, as well as its second-highest finish at 14th following the 2017-18 season
- Added high-impact coaches Nate Oats (men’s basketball), Brad Bohannon (baseball), Margo Geer (men’s and women’s swimming and diving), Ashley Johnston (gymnastics), Glenn Putyrae (rowing) and Rashinda Reed (volleyball)
- Won the 2021 and 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, earned a place in the CFP Championship Game in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 and collected Southeastern Conference titles in football (2017, 2020, 2021), men’s basketball (2021), gymnastics (2021), softball (2021, 2019) and men’s indoor track and field (2018)
- Brought home individual and relay national titles in cross country, gymnastics, swimming and diving and track and field and produced nearly 200 All-Americans in 12 different sports
- Earned 57 CoSIDA Academic All-America certificates as well as some of the nation’s top academic honors, including the NCAA Top 10 Award, the NCAA Elite 90 Award, CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year, NCAA and SEC Postgraduate Scholarships
- Earned the H. Boyd McWhorter Male SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017 and produced 14 SEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year in 10 different sports, including a conference-record eight during the 2019-20 academic year
Another hallmark of Byrne’s career has been both building and enhancing facilities to championship levels. In his first five years at Alabama, the Tide:
- Raised more than $470 million toward The Crimson Standard capital campaign, with over half of the 10-year goal of $600 million completed in a little over two years
- Added a state-of-the-art, first-of-its-kind Sports Science Center featuring advanced treatment services and technology with spaces dedicated to cryotherapy, chiropractic care, stretch, massage, relaxation, recovery and mental health services
- Improved and renovated Bryant-Denny Stadium, including enhancements to all team and recruiting areas, renovations of multiple fan areas, including new Loge and sky boxes and a trio of club areas and an added student plaza
- Renovated and expanded the football team locker room, training room, equipment room and lobby within the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility
- Added and renovated multiple areas of the John and Ann Rhoads Softball Stadium, with upgrades to the press box and clubhouse, the addition of a new umpire locker room, new restrooms and a new concessions building, as well as new hardscape for the plaza and entryway along first base
- Revitalized the Alabama Aquatic Center with a renovation that included the addition of an outdoor pool
In addition to his role as Director of Athletics, Byrne serves on several committees at both the conference and national levels including:
- United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Collegiate Advisory Council
- NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee
- National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches Coalition Academy
- Served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2020
The son of Bill Byrne, whose long and highly successful career included 30 years as an athletics director, Greg Byrne has spent a lifetime around major college athletics. That background has allowed the younger Byrne to consistently develop and grow as a dynamic and impactful administrator with each new role he has undertaken, with career highlights prior to Alabama that include:
- Serving as the University of Arizona’s Vice President for Athletics (2010-17) and Mississippi State University’s Director of Athletics (2008-10), making Alabama the third NCAA Division I program he has led
- Fostering major improvements across the spectrum of sports at both Arizona and MSU, raising the bar to new heights when it came to student-athlete enhancement and academic success in preparation for life after sports
- More than $140 million in construction and renovation of athletics facilities at Arizona
- Serving as the youngest athletics director in the SEC and the youngest to lead an athletic program at the NCAA Division I-A level while at Mississippi State where he oversaw the hiring of head football coach Dan Mullen and former head baseball coach and current Director of Athletics John Cohen
- Experience in the Southeastern Conference, having spent 2002-05 at the University of Kentucky as Associate Athletics Director for Development and Fundraising prior to serving as Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at MSU from 2006-08 before becoming the Bulldogs’ Director of Athletics
- Working at the Fiesta Bowl (1994-95), Oregon (1995-98) and Oregon State (1998-2002)
A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Byrne earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in 1994 and his master’s degree from Mississippi State University in 2009. Byrne is married to the former Regina Misa of Junction City, Ore., and the couple has two sons, Nicholas and Davis.