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Byrne takes over as AD

Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Greg Byrne (left) formally announces his acceptance of  his new position as the next UA Director of Athletics at a press conference in the Lohse Room at the McKale Center on Wednesday, March 24. UA President Robert Shelton and Ernest Calder
Lisa Beth Earle
Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Greg Byrne (left) formally announces his acceptance of his new position as the next UA Director of Athletics at a press conference in the Lohse Room at the McKale Center on Wednesday, March 24. UA President Robert Shelton and Ernest Calder

Greg Byrne officially took over as the Arizona athletic director on Monday. Byrne, a 38-year-old who was formerly the athletic director at Mississippi State University, arrived in Tucson and began taking on duties but has not been officially hired by the Arizona Board of Regents.

“”He was not officially hired yet,”” said Peggy Martin, secretary to the board of ABOR. “”That will probably happen at the June meeting.””

UA President Robert Shelton named Byrne as his selection for the permanent replacement of former athletic director Jim Livengood during a press conference on March 22. Shelton said Byrne would be hired by ABOR during a special meeting on May 1.

Byrne’s hiring was not on the open session agenda during the May meeting, so his ABOR approval will be postponed until the regents meet June 10 and 11.

“”At this point and time that’s what I’m expecting, but we can’t guarantee it,”” Martin said. “”There’s a whole process that has to go through with the committee and the board and executive session and they’re just part way through the process.””

Byrne will relieve interim athletic director Kathleen “”Rocky”” LaRose of her five-month stay at the helm. LaRose will return to her role as senior associate athletics director.

Byrne will reportedly spend a large portion of his first few months at UA at Pacific 10 Conference and donor functions.

“”I am going to spend my first few months meeting with our coaches, staff, student-athletes and donors/fans,”” said Byrne in a statement released on Monday.

Byrne also encouraged Arizona fans to get to know him better through social media. Byrne not only has a Twitter account, but also a Facebook page. He also said he plans to issue a weekly blog or e-mail to the Wildcat fan base.

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