Bill Byrne
Director of Athletics

Let’s cut to the chase.

A lot has been written about the events of last Thursday. We were surprised to see news breaking on Twitter of a change with the head coach of our football team. What we believed to be a confidential decision was becoming public quickly. The last thing I wanted was to inform Mike Sherman of the decision via telephone, but with the news breaking and Mike on the road recruiting, I had no other choice. I’m extremely disappointed someone felt empowered to tell the media of this sensitive information before our head coach was informed. This action only hurt good people and their families. Social media reaches everyone these days, and this information reached the children of some of our assistant coaches before I could inform Mike, and before Mike could inform his staff and players.

Mike deserved to hear from me before he heard the news from anyone else. Needless to say, calling Mike on the phone was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. That’s not how I like to conduct business.

Mike built a foundation for our football team based on high character and integrity. We owed it to Mike to inform him in the same manner.

With that said I am leading the search from New York and meeting directly with multiple candidates to become our next head football coach. As with other coaching searches I’ve done over the years, I am doing due diligence and covering all of the bases. I am not rushing into any decision. After I’ve completed the interview process, I will share my recommendations with Texas A&M President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin. Together, we will make the best decision for Texas A&M.

I know some of you have more questions, but my focus is on the search for our next head football coach and the future of Texas A&M football.

In my 28 years as an athletic director, I’ve always kept personnel matters close to the vest. Until a candidate is hired, I will not be commenting further on the status of the search.

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On Sunday we were invited to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m.

I’ve asked assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter to serve as the interim head coach for the game. Tim and the staff will lead our team during this important month of bowl practices. These are valuable practices for our team.

Tickets are available now by clicking here.

We will conduct our bowl student ticket sale on Thursday, Dec. 8 beginning at 8 a.m. at the Zone Plaza ticket windows.

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The volleyball season came to an end in the second round of the NCAAs we hosted at Reed Arena last Friday night.

I thought we had a terrific season, and I thank coach Laurie Corbelli and our coaching staff and student-athletes for putting us in a position to host the NCAAs. They all did a remarkable job!

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Last week our No. 22 men’s basketball team beat Alcorn State and SFA at Reed Arena to improve to 6-1. We host Sam Houston tonight at 7 p.m. and Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at 7 p.m. We are happy to offer our Holiday Hoops pricing for all men’s and women’s games through January 8. You can purchase tickets by clicking here.

If you can’t make it tonight, the game will be televised by FSN Southwest.

Individual game tickets for conference games for men’s and women’s basketball are on sale now by clicking here.

Don’t forget we also have a Saturday 6-Pack and a Pick 7 package available, too. You can get more information about what games are included by clicking here.

It was a tough road trip for our defending national champion and No. 7 women’s basketball team. We fell at No. 12 Purdue and at No. 2 Connecticut. There is not time to dwell on those outcomes because we travel to TCU on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Our next women’s home game is Sunday, Dec. 18 against Southern Cal.

As a reminder, tickets are also on sale for the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds being hosted at Reed Arena on March 17 and 19. Click here for more information.

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Indoor track and field season is here. Our three-time defending national champion outdoor men’s and women’s teams will host the Reveille Invitational on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the Gilliam Indoor Track.

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Our No. 10 women’s swimming and diving team won 13 of 14 races against Rice last Saturday at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium. We had seven 1-2 finishes enroute to winning the dual meet.

Meanwhile, our No. 18 men’s swimming and diving team finished sixth in the Texas Invitational last week.

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Gig’Em!