Mike Bellotti,University of Oregon's Athletic Director, announced today that he would resign as AD to take a job as an ESPN TV analyst for football. The University of Oregon will start a national search for a new AD along with their search for a new Men's basketball coach.
Two candidates that should be considered for AD are Jim Bartko and Gregg Byrne.
Jim Bartko is the current Executive Senior Associate AD at the University of Oregon and has been at Oregon since 1989 except for a short time at Cal in 2006. He was brought back to Oregon by AD Pat Kilkenny who replaced Bill Moos in 2007.
Over the course of his tenure, he has raised more than $350 million for capital improvements and facility enhancements, including a $91 million expansion of Autzen Stadium and $200 million for the building of a new basketball area.
From 2003-06, Bartko served as the associate athletic director responsible for university relations with major gift givers and prospects. In addition, he supervised the Ducks' men's and women's golf programs and equipment staff.
Bartko was Oregon's assistant athletic director for community and corporate relations from 1998-2003, and he served as assistant athletic director for the Duck Athletic Fund form 1994-98. He began his career at Oregon as a regional director of the Duck Athletic Fund in 1989 starting in Medford, Oregon where I first met him.
Bartko earned his bachelor's degree in sports administration with a minor in business administration from Washington State in 1987. He later worked as an intern and assistant director of marketing at WSU from 1987-89.
Jim would be an excellent choice to replace Mike Bellotti as AD. He has a great relationship with Oregon fans and Donor Phil Knight and is an all around good guy who has made and maintained many friendships with Oregon fans and donors over the years.
From the Oregonian:
UO associate Bartko, who has been a UO administrator for 20 of the past 21 years, declined to declare himself a candidate.
"My goal at some point in my life is to be an athletic director, whether it's here or somewhere else," Bartko said. "But the timing would have to be right. ... I have enough to worry about, selling basketball seats and raising money."
And this from the Register Guard:If not Kilkenny, the two most-likely options for Lariviere are Jim Bartko or Renee Baumgartner, each an executive senior associate AD.
Bartko said “I’ll do what’s best for the University of Oregon … if that opportunity is there, sure,” he’d be interested, on an interim or permanent basis.
Greg Byrne the current Athletic Director at Mississippi State would also be a great choice.I have no inside information that Greg is interested in the job but Oregon should be interested in him.
As Mississippi State Athletic Director:
On Wednesday December 10, 2008, Byrne hired Dan Mullen to replace Sylvester Croom as football coach.During the search for a new football coach Byrne got the nickname The Ninja for being out of town all the time and no one knowing where he was. Byrne got a lot of credit for hiring Mullen. Mullen had accomplished a lot at previous schools such as University of Utah where he coached NFL first round draft pick Alex Smith, and University of Florida where he recruited 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, and also won two National Championships at Florida. Byrne's father Bill Byrne is the current athletics director at Texas A&M University.(Bill was also Athletic Director at Oregon in the 1980's and got us into our first bowl game in a long long time)
Byrne was born in Pocatello, Idaho, and grew up in Eugene, Oregon during the time his dad was Oregon's AD. He attended Arizona State University majoring in Hotel Business. He started working around athletics working for the Fiesta Bowl. Then in 1995 he was named the director of the "Duck Club" for the University of Oregon.This is where I met him when he was stationed in Medford, Oregon. He was a real dynamo. In 1998, Byrne went from Oregon to Oregon State University, as the director of the "Beaver Club".( I have forgiven him) In 2002 he took a job at the University of Kentucky as an assistant athletics director. In 2005 he worked for a litigation support software company, CaseLogistix, out of Jackson, Mississippi, but remained in Lexington, Kentucky. In 2006, Byrne took over the "Bulldog Club" director job for Mississippi State University. When Byrne played high school basketball at Sheldon High School in Eugene, his assistant coach was Mark Few, now the men's head basketball coach for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Maybe he could help us hire Few as our basketball coach and fill both vacancies.)
Greg is also an all around good guy who works very hard and has made a lot of friends in the Duck community.
From the Oregonian
If the Ducks take Moos' advice and look for an experienced athletic director, possible candidates are Mississippi State's Greg Byrne or Central Michigan's Dave Heeke.
Byrne, son of former UO athletic director Bill Byrne, has worked as an athletic administrator at Oregon, Oregon State and Kentucky. Reached Friday by telephone, Byrne declined to comment.
Heeke spent 18 years and Oregon and rose to senior associate athletic director/chief of staff before leaving for Central Michigan in 2005. He was not immediately available for comment.