C.A.T.S. Academic Center

A group of dignitaries including UA president Ann Weaver Hart, second from right, Dr. David Lapan and athletic director Greg Byrne, far right, fling ceremonial dirt during a groundbreaking for the new C.A.T.S. Academic Center to be built along the former left field stands and field of Kindall/Sancet Field, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star 

C.A.T.S. Academic Center shows Byrne's priorities extend beyond sports 

I’m not going to get all gushy about Greg Byrne, but his decision to raise $7.5 million to build an academic center for Wildcat athletes shows that his commitment to the school goes beyond turning a profit and winning football games. Nobody would’ve said a word had Byrne simply said times are tough and that raising $150 million to remake Arizona Stadium would take every cent the school could raise. The key donor is alumnus Andrew Braccia, 40, who is listed at No. 88 on Forbes’ Midas list. Braccia made his fortune in the Silicon Valley, investing in Yahoo and other technology ventures. As for a sports background, Braccia was one of the key investors for SB Nation, an online sports journalism site. 


Greg graduated from Utah State, worked at two Utah newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times, the Albany Democrat-Herald in Oregon and moved to Tucson to cover UA football and baseball. He became the Star's sports columnist in 1984.