A&M coaches react to Byrne's retirement

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 3:51pm

COLLEGE STATION -- It's been one day since Texas A&M's athletic director, Bill Byrne, announced he's retiring.

But there's still a lot of questions and disappointment over Byrne's decision, especially among Aggie coaches.

It's an uncertain future for the Aggie athletic department as they say goodbye to the Big 12 and now, A&M's athletic director, Bill Byrne.

"You know it's hard to have someone leave that you feel comfortable with and trust and so that's challenging," said women's softball coach, Jo Evans.

A challenging transition as A&M heads to the SEC. A decision Byrne says he didn't have a say in.

"You know what, those decisions are made above my pay grade. My dad was a soldier, my mom was an army nurse, you're taught to salute and carry on and that's what we'll do," Byrne said. 

With 15 national championships and more than 40 Big 12 titles under Byrne's belt, women's basketball coach Gary Blair, says they need him during this transitional period.

"We're doing something well here so if we're doing something well, why not keep the chief there?"

And while Coach Blair is upset to see Byrne leave before his contract expires, Coach Evans says she's confident the administration will find a replacement to help guide the Aggies into the Southeastern Conference this fall.

"We're going to do things right," said Evans. "We're going to bring in the kind of people that are going to continue to allow us to be successful so I have to trust that."

A&M hopes to have a new A.D. hired by this August. Until then, John Thornton, will be serving as interim director.


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