Greg Byrne Discusses The Search for Avery Johnson’s Successor
Late Thursday night, the initial news surfaced of the University of Alabama negotiating head coach Avery Johnson's buyout. Sunday morning, Alabama director of athletics Greg Byrne confirmed that Johnson would no longer be leading the Crimson Tide's men's basketball program.
The former NBA point guard went 75-52 with one NCAA Tournament and three NIT appearances in four seasons in Tuscaloosa.
To begin the week, Byrne spoke to the media concerning the search for Avery Johnsons' successor. Toward the beginning of his opening statement, he laid out four main areas that he is looking for in the Crimson Tide's next men's basketball coach.
"In terms of what we're looking for in a head coach, player development, college background, strong academics and NCAA compliance. Those will be four of the primary factors we'll be looking at." Byrne said.
Additionally, the ability to recruit and assemble an outstanding coaching staff will be keys for the next head coach.
"We want a relentless recruiter as a head coach and someone who has the ability to put together a great staff that recruits well and makes our student athletes better across the board." Byrne said.
With issues regarding FBI investigations affecting some of the biggest names and programs in sports, Byrne emphasized the importance of maintaining the university's reputation in the ultimate hire.
"We're going to be very thorough during this process. We want to make sure we keep the University of Alabama's reputation at the forefront of what we do." Byrne said.
When asked about who is leading the coaching search, he pointed to himself as the leader of the search.
"You're looking at the search firm." Byrne said.
Later in his address to reporters, Alabama's director of athletics discussed the process of separating those who are interested in the job form those that are just using it as leverage and the overall timetable for making the hire. Byrne did not specifically mention how much money Avery Johnson will receive in his final buyout.
No matter who gets picked to lead Alabama basketball, Byrne has one goal in mind beyond simply winning the opening press conference.
"We're not terribly concerned with geographic footprint. We're not terribly concerned about winning the press conference. We are concerned with getting a great basketball coach for the University of Alabama." Byrne said.