Byrnes’ background encompasses NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), as well as committee work for the NCAA, Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and others.
“I believe my experience in a variety of roles as an administrator will help as we build programs, facilities, and staffing models that focus on the university’s mission and are grounded in the philosophy of NCAA Division III athletics,” Byrnes said. “My main goal is to provide a strong, competitive, well-rounded athletics and recreation program for MBU students and, specifically, student-athletes.”
Byrnes will provide leadership for all aspects of MBU’s Athletics Department including strategic planning, program and staff development, resource management, athletics and recreational activities, and ensuring compliance with NCAA, USA South, Title IX, and university policies.
He joins MBU during a time of strategic planning and expansion of athletics offerings and facilities, such as the recent addition of six men’s programs, including men’s soccer and baseball, as well as the construction of SMA Worth Field. His anticipated start date is August 12.
“I would like to thank President Fox, Dr. Jeffries, Dr. McCoy, the search committee, and everyone I met during the process for putting their trust in me to advance the Fighting Squirrels athletics program,” said Byrnes. “It was very obvious to me that the Mary Baldwin community is committed to advancing the academic, athletic, and cultural components that make the university great. I’m very excited to join this group and contribute.”
In his most recent position as director of athletics at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Denver, Byrnes oversaw a 500% increase in student-athlete recruitment and stewarded the school’s NCAA D-III membership application, a multi-phase process. He also expanded JWU Denver’s coaching and training staff, launched men’s and women’s golf programs, and initiated a student-athlete advisory committee.