My Aunt Coralie gets invited to the coolest events and often I’m fortunate to be her guest. The tour this week was led by the University of Arizona’s amazing Athletic Director, Greg Byrne (technically Vice President for Athletics but I think AD sounds better). Greg joined the UA in mid-2010 and we welcomed him with out of date facilities for fans and student athletes, aging buildings, luke-warm support for sports other than football and men’s basketball, and roughly a billion dollars in needed upgrades.
Boy, did he hit the ground running! No one expected Greg to improve the programs by this much this soon. He’s raised hundreds of millions in donations, overseen $72 million in improvements to Arizona Stadium, $30 million in upgrades at McKale, hired exciting, dedicated coaches, solidified UA branding, and increased awareness of UA throughout the state. He’s a dynamo and he’s all-in. During our tour he greeted every single athlete and coach by name (there’s well over 500 athletes alone).
There was a twinkle in his eye when he talked about future projects. He couldn’t share the details but based on what we’ve seen so far it is going to be great. And yes, I’m an alumnus but trust me his enthusiasm would’ve rubbed off on you too!
Inside McKale: new floor, new lights, new seats, new sound system = nice!
Inside the men’s basketball lounge with Greg, Trey Mason, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and Gabe York. Great guys!
Me, near mid-field, because it’s cool, yo!
According to Greg (and this list) male athletes don’t wear cups anymore, they wear girdles. Ah, so that’s where they all went!
View from the $10,000-season box. It does seat 4 people and comes with a buffet, access to an air-conditioned lounge that sells beer and wine, and the newest bathrooms in the stadium. And, nope, I didn’t buy one, they’re sold out!
How neat! Must have been a blast, particularly finding out where all the girdles went! I say good riddance, hope the guys appreciate what we went thru for years!!
Yep – the thought of all those beefy guys wearing girdles cracks me up. You think they’d at least rename them to boydles!