Alabama AD Greg Byrne addresses difference in age, backround with Nick Saban on 'Finebaum'
Nick Saban has worked with two athletic directors during his 10 seasons at Alabama, the late Mal Moore and Bill Battle. Moore was 68 when he hired Saban in 2007. Battle has recently stepped down at age 75. As Paul Finebaum noted during his interview Friday with new Alabama AD Greg Byrne, Moore and Battle were both Saban’s elders and related to him as fellow football coaches.
Byrne, on the other hand, is 45 and is a career administrator, the son of former Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne. During the interview, Finebaum asked Byrne if he expects any challenges in working with Saban, 65, due to their differences in age and background.
“It will be a little bit of a different approach,” Byrne told Finebaum. “At the same too, I’m 45 years old, and in some ways – certainly not day-to-day experience – I’ve got almost a lifetime of experience. I’ve been around coaches, and student athletes, and college campuses – and by all means I don’t have it all figured out by any stretch of the imagination – I do know, that when it comes to working with coaches, you want to have a partnership and you want them to feel like you have their back and you’re going to support them through good times and through tough times.
“That’s really important to be able to have that type of relationship. What I hope is that Coach Saban, and the football program as well as the other coaches and staff feel like ‘Hey, we’re all in this thing together and we’ve got each other backs and we’re doing everything we can to make sure the University of Alabama is as successful as it possibly can be.'”
The two appear to be off to a good start, as Saban praised Byrne’s “plan and vision” for UA athletics in a statement earlier this week.