This week, America observes the passing of the presidential torch from Barack Obama to Donald Trump.

Back in Tuscaloosa, various University of Alabama dignitaries and media from around the state gathered inside the Mal Moore Building on the University of Alabama campus to celebrate the upcoming passing of the torch in Alabama’s athletic director chair from Bill Battle to Greg Byrne.

After delivering his introductory address, Byrne took time to chat with various media outlets on an individual basis including Tide 102.9.

Byrne shared some of his thoughts about taking over as Alabama’s director of athletics.

“It was a dream come true to have this opportunity and what the University of Alabama represents.” Byrne said.

While he is new to Alabama, Byrne is not unfamiliar with being in the SEC having been Mississippi State’s athletic director from 2008-2010. Alabama’s new AD touched on his return to the SEC.

“Love the SEC. (SEC Commissioner) Greg Sankey and I have a long-time friendship. A lot of the ADs in the league I’m very close to. It’s a wonderful conference with great competition at the highest levels and there’s also camaraderie with it to.” Byrne said.

In addition to his familiarity with the SEC, college sports was an integral part of his life growing up with his dad Bill Byrne heading athletic departments at Oregon, Nebraska and Texas A&M over a span of nearly 30 years.

Greg Byrne reflected on how his dad influenced his career and how being around athletics has shaped his life.

“He had tremendous influence. I grew up going to ballgames. That’s what we did. I didn’t know any better. That’s what I thought every kid did. Then you start going to school and you realize that not every kid is going to go to the basketball game, or the football game, or the baseball game, softball game, whatever it is and getting a chance to be in the locker room my entire life and watching the competition the practice and the hard work that it takes to be able to perform at these levels. It made a lasting impression on me.” Byre stated.

Greg Byrne's tenure at Alabama begins March 1.