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VOL. 43 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 29, 2019

Belmont's Byrd retires following first NCAA Tournament win

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Belmont University men's basketball head coach Rick Byrd has announced his retirement after 33 years with the program.

A 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction candidate and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Byrd systematically led Belmont to national prominence in both NCAA Division I and NAIA.

Byrd's 805 career victories rank 12th all-time among NCAA Division I head coaches.

The Knoxville native led Belmont to eight NCAA Tournament appearances (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) in the last 14 years, national top 25 poll votes eight of the last nine years and notable victories over the likes of North Carolina, UCLA, Marquette, Cincinnati, Alabama, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Stanford, Butler and Temple, among others.

"For the past 33 years, it has been my privilege to work with, and for, a remarkable community of men and women at Belmont University," Byrd says. "Throughout my tenure as men's basketball coach, our program has received great support from Belmont's administration, faculty, staff and students. For this, I am forever grateful. Personally, I have been the beneficiary of a very supportive family that I could count on every single day, a loyal circle of friends who consistently offered encouragement, and a terrific fan base that has embraced our program and our players for over three decades. Most importantly, it has been an honor to coach the young men that have brought credit to Belmont University, not only by how they played the game, but how they represented our university all over our country."

"Belmont University is blessed to be a place that still seeks the high standard of making athletics about developing attitudes and skills for living a life of integrity, humility, and service to others while giving your best and learning resilience to deal with life's disappointments with grace," Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher says. "No one exemplifies that type of character better than Rick Byrd. His leadership is a point of great pride not just for our men's basketball program or the athletics department, but for the entire university. I am deeply grateful for his life of service to Belmont University and his influence in shaping the lives of so many along the way. He's simply the best!"

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