From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TUSCALOOSA –University of Alabama director of athletics Bill Battle will step down from his post in March, according to multiple media reports.
Battle has been diagnosed with multiple melanoma and took a short leave of absence last summer to battle the disease.
“I want everyone to know that my health was not a factor in this decision as, at this time, I am in full remission and I feel great,” Battle said.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne is expected to be named athletic director at Alabama, possibly as soon as Monday, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
While Battle is expected to remain in an advisory role until his contract expires in March, Byrne will take over day to day operations immediately. The university announced that Battle will remain involved on campus as a special assistant to the president.
Battle replaced Mal Moore four years ago who hand picked his successor when he was hospitalized with serious medical problems. Moore died a short time later.
A former Alabama player under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Battle provided a steady hand of leadership following Moore’s tenure, which was widely considered the best run of overall athletic success in Crimson Tide history.
Byrne, was hired at Arizona in May 2010 after serving as athletic director at Mississippi State and associate athletic director at both Oregon State and Kentucky, according to the Arizona Daily Star.