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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Bill Byrne stepping down as Texas A&M AD

By Edward Aschoff

Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne will announce his retirement Tuesday at a news conference in College Station, Texas, a source told The Associated Press.

Byrne, 66, was hired in December of 2002 and helped guide the Aggies to the SEC from the Big 12. Byrne's contract is up on Aug. 31, 2013, but Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said last month that Byrne's future at the school would be discussed between the two of them.

For the most part, Aggies sports flourished while Byrne was the school's AD. During his tenure, Texas A&M sports won 17 national championships and 46 Big 12 championships.

However, Texas A&M's football program hasn't been as successful. It went 58-54, won just one bowl game and finished only one season ranked. Now, it's taking new coach Kevin Sumlin, who came from Houston, to the SEC.

The move to the SEC, effective July 1, brings what Byrne believed would be a much more stable situation for Texas A&M, but it didn't come without controversy. The move has put a once-great rivalry with Texas on hold for the foreseeable future and it appeared to set in motion all the recent expansion movement taking over college football.

There certainly were mixed feelings about Byrne's tenure at Texas A&M, but his departure right before the move to the SEC will no doubt put a lot of pressure on his successor and Loftin.

Check back to the blog later to read more about Byrne's departure and what's next for Texas A&M.