WASHINGTON – Bill Byrne, former athletics director at Texas A&M, Nebraska and Oregon, is the recipient of the 2018 Homer Rice Award presented by the LEAD1 Association. The award is presented annually to an FBS athletics director who has made significant contributions to intercollegiate athletics.
The Homer Rice Award is named after the legendary former athletics director at Georgia Tech, who founded the Division 1A Athletic Director’s Association, the predecessor to the LEAD1 Association. Candidates for the award must have been retired for at least one year and served as an FBS athletics director for at least 10 years.
“Bill’s career was exemplary. He demonstrated the highest commitment to college athletics and was a consummate professional,” LEAD1 President and CEO Tom McMillen said. “He certainly left his imprint at Texas A&M, Nebraska and Oregon, and this honor is yet another milestone in his impressive career.”
As athletics director at Texas A&M from 2003-12, Byrne led the Aggies through record growth and was a key member of the transition team when A&M joined the SEC. Byrne led many facility expansions at Texas A&M, including a $36 million indoor football facility and a $26 million renovation of the baseball stadium. Byrne joined the Aggies after 11 years as athletics director at Nebraska. In 1984, Byrne became one of the youngest Division I athletics directors when he was named to the head post at Oregon. He guided his teams to 30 national championships and 144 conference championships during his 29-year career as a Division I athletics director.
Byrne will be honored at the LEAD1 annual meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Previous winners of the Homer Rice Award may be found at www.lead1association.com/HomerRiceAward.
About the LEAD1 Association: LEAD1 represents the athletics directors of the 131-member universities of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Key to the LEAD1 mission are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to our member schools. For more information, please visit our website at www.LEAD1Association.com.