COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Bill Byrne, Director of Athletics at the University of Nebraska, has been named Athletic Director at Texas A&M University, it was announced today (Dec. 3).
Byrne, athletic director at Nebraska since June 26, 1992, will begin his new job at Texas A&M as soon as possible. He previously served as athletic director at the University of Oregon for 10 years.
"We are excited about the leadership Bill Byrne brings to our athletic directorship," Benton A. Cocanougher, special
assistant to Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates and chair of the athletic director search committee, said.
"He has an outstanding record of leadership in his career," Cocanougher said.
Byrne called the decision to leave Nebraska "extremely difficult."
"I have great affection for Nebraska - for all the people, and especially the coaches and student-athletes," Byrne said.
"Texas A&M and Nebraska are alike in many respects," Byrne added. "Texas A&M represents a great opportunity, and I look forward to the challenge of building another program."
Byrne succeeds Wally Groff, who announced earlier this year he was relinquishing the position.
When Byrne arrived at Nebraska, the athletic department had a $2.5 million deficit, which he managed to erase. The school currently has a $44.5 million operating budget.
A native of Idaho and holder of two degrees from Idaho State University, Byrne has made 15 head coaching hires since arriving at Nebraska. The Huskers have one of the country?s largest athletic programs, fielding 23 programs.
Last year, the Huskers finished in the Top 25 in nine sports (football, volleyball, soccer, bowling, women?s gymnastics, men?s indoor track, wrestling, baseball and softball) and finished its seventh consecutive Top 25 finish in the Sears Directors Cup standing for top athletic programs.
Byrne?s wife, Marilyn, is the dean of graduate studies in educational leadership at Doane College and earned her doctorate in higher education administration from Nebraska. They have two sons and two grandsons.