Watson outlines role of athletic director


Here’s a letter I just received from the President’s office regarding the transition of Greg Byrne as athletics director and who’ll be in charge of coaches’ contracts and hiring new coaches.

Really, though, all you need to know is that Greg is going to lead the search to replace baseball coach Ron Polk. He’ll also handle all contract negotiations with the other coaches.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Interim President Vance H. Watson said Friday [April 4] that Greg Byrne, Mississippi State’s recently named athletic director, and current AD Larry Templeton are promising a smooth transition process as the department moves forward. “

They have pledged to me that they are committed to moving the athletic program ahead and to making it the best it can be,” Watson said.

Byrne was named in February to succeed Templeton, whose MSU contract runs through June 30. 

“The three of us have agreed we will work to ensure a transition that places Mississippi State first,” Watson said.  “I am confident that the athletic programs will benefit from our cooperative efforts.”

He said that Byrne will assume responsibility for negotiating coaches’ contracts and soon will launch a search to replace longtime baseball coach Ron Polk, who recently announced his retirement.

“These are very significant matters for which the incoming athletic director should appropriately assume full responsibility,” Watson said.

During the transition, Templeton will continue to fulfill two significant leadership roles, Watson added. 

“He will continue to serve as chair of the 2008 NCAA Baseball Committe and as chair of the Southeastern Conference Athletic Directors,” Watson said, adding that Templeton also will help negotiate multimedia contracts on behalf of the SEC. 

“I appreciate the efforts of these fine professionals who share a goal of building strength in our athletics programs,” he said. “Mississippi State will be stronger for their willingness to
collaborate during this time.”


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