Tom Jurich is very much fighting to get his job back as Louisville’s athletics director, but until then the Cardinals need someone to run the athletics department. And that someone is Vincent Tyra.
If you’re wondering who that is, you’re not alone. Tyra’s day job is as an operating partner at Connecticut-based private equity firm Southfield Capital. (This makes him the third straight high-profile interim AD pulled from the business world, following Michigan’s Jim Hackett and Texas’s Mike Perrin.)
Tyra holds numerous connections to the school, though. A Louisville native, Tyra is the son of legendary Cardinals basketball player Charlie Tyra and, though he himself played baseball at Kentucky, Tyra is a member of the UL Foundation Board of Directors and chairs its finance committee.
“I am honored to have been selected as the Acting Athletic Director at the University of Louisville,” Tyra said in a statement. “I am excited by the challenge to lead one of the most elite athletic programs in college sports that’s near and dear to my heart. I intend to provide leadership to our athletic department, coaches, student-athletes, fans, donors and the university as a whole.”
Though Tyra’s immediate order of business will be to stabilize a men’s basketball program that is also under interim leadership on the eve of the season, Tyra has to keep one eye on the football program. With Jurich gone, Bobby Petrino‘s buyout is cut in half to $4.25 million. And this is shaping up to be an especially bad year to have a successful coach that isn’t locked up. Ole Miss is already on the market, and there’s a distinct possibility that Tennessee, Missouri, Texas A&M (and Arkansas!) could join them.
At the very least, Petrino and his representatives should view the tumult in the athletics department and the black cloud of possible sanction raining all over the basketball program as a golden opportunity to shake a vulnerable and inexperienced AD down for a whopper of a contract extension.