GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE & GSU) - Grambling State University President Rick Gallot has hired Paul Bryant as the institution’s next athletic director, effective January 1, 2017.
Bryant, who has more than 25 years of experience in athletics and 22 years of coaching, has a strong track record of business acumen and sports success at South Carolina State University as director of athletics and previously as director of athletics at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and director of athletics at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois.
The hire is subject to the approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, and the hire has been included on the board’s December 8 meeting agenda.
“We had an impressive group of two dozen candidates, and quite a strong group of finalists for this important job,” said Gallot. “Bryant rose to the top and he was the choice of the search committee because of his tremendous experience and success, particularly his business knowledge and skill.”
Bryant has a two-year agreement with GSU. He will earn $130,000 annually, and the Grambling University Foundation has agreed to supplement his university salary with another $30,000.
As athletic director, Bryant will be responsible for the management and supervision of Grambling State’s 15 sports programs: football, men’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field; women’s basketball, bowling, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, women’s tennis, soccer, softball and volleyball.
“I am excited to lead one of the nation’s most historic athletic institutions, a school with a huge national and international brand, and I’m grateful to President Gallot and the search committee for this opportunity,” said Bryant. “We will address the issues that need to be addressed and take the athletics program to the next level.”
Bryant succeeds Obadiah Simmons, who has served as interim athletic director for the last 16 months. “Dr. Simmons has done an incredible job under challenging and trying circumstances as he helped us through this major transition while continuing in his role as the head of our kinesiology department,” said Gallot. “We were fortunate to have someone of his experience and stature to handle such a task.”
He has been married to Shannon Bryant for 25 years. They have a daughter, Kayla, 23, an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a son, Paul Jr., 16.