LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Vince Tyra has resigned as Louisville’s athletic director, ending a challenging four-year tenure in which he shepherded the Cardinals’ men’s basketball program through several NCAA investigations in between hiring head coaches for that sport and football.
University spokesman John Karman confirmed that the school received and has accepted Tyra’s resignation letter, that was effective Wednesday. Tyra’s departure comes hours after university President Neeli Bendapudi surprisingly stepped down to become president at Penn State.
Tyra resignation letter stated that he was submitting it “with great emotion” and wished the best for Louisville and the athletic program.
His contract ran through June 2023 at a base annual salary of $850,000, had been reported to be the top candidate to become the AD at fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Florida State. That school on Thursday named Michael Alford as AD.
Tyra was appointed interim AD in October 2017 in the wake of a federal investigation of corruption in college basketball in which Louisville announced its involvement. The scandal resulted in the firings of Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and longtime AD Tom Jurich. The job became permanent in March 2018.
The Louisville native and son of former Cardinals basketball great Charlie Tyra eventually became part of the school’s attempt to appeal NCAA sanctions for an embarrassing sex scandal with the men’s program. Those penalties were upheld in February 2018 and the school vacated 123 victories along with its 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance.
Last spring, college sports’ governing body served Louisville with a notice of allegations resulting from the corruption scandal. That case is being reviewed through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
In March 2018 Tyra hired Chris Mack from Xavier to lead Louisville back from the fallout of that scandal. But Mack and the Cardinals have run afoul of NCAA guidelines following an extortion attempt by former assistant Dino Gaudio, whom Mack fired last spring.
The school determined Mack was the “victim” of Gaudio’s attempt to extort 17 months’ worth of salary to keep quiet about impermissible benefits but said Mack didn’t follow university guidelines in handling the matter. Mack was suspended for this season’s first six games and returned last week.
The NCAA has tacked on additional allegations, saying Mack has not fostered an atmosphere of compliance.
In addition to hiring Mack, Tyra also made coaching changes in Louisville's football program. In November 2018 he fired Bobby Petrino during a disastrous 2-10 season and soon hired Scott Satterfield from Appalachian State as his replacement.
Satterfield is 18-18 in three seasons, including 6-6 this fall, and preparing Louisville for the First Responder Bowl later this month in Dallas. But there are questions about his future with the Cardinals' mediocre record. Last month's 52-21 home shellacking by archrival and No. 22 Kentucky didn't help Satterfield's case.
In a TV interview last week, Tyra reiterated his belief in Satterfield's plan to improve the program.