Long after he's gone, Greg Byrne's impact on Mississippi State athletics will still be felt. He's made two big coaching hires and has been intimately involved in the school's "master plan" for facilities.
In today's Daily Journal, I examine what Byrne has accomplished in his two-plus years as MSU's athletics director. They include:
• Hiring Dan Mullen as football coach.
• Hiring John Cohen as baseball coach.
• Erecting the big honkin' video board at Davis Wade Stadium.
• Getting a track facility makeover started.
• Seeing the basketball practice facility construction get under way.
• Earning the nickname "Ninja." (see: Mullen hiring)
But as I noted in the story, the two things he's most proud of are playing Jackson State in football, and a renewed sense of pride among the MSU fan base, saying, "I feel like that people are all pulling the rope in the same direction."
As for the "master plan" MSU is working on, it's being handled by Sasaki Associates Inc. Byrne said they're currently in the data-gathering stage.
"Nothing's in concrete yet, and never will be in concrete, because it'll be a living, breathing document," Byrne said.
Byrne said he will help MSU in whatever way he can regarding the transition to a new AD. MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum is working in concert with Parker Executive Search of Atlanta.
"Because of Dr. Keenum's leadership and then with getting a good athletic director in here, our coaches and staff that's already in place," Byrne said, "the momentum that we've been able to capture certainly will continue on for a long time."