Thursday, October 5News That Matters

Meet Vince Tyra, the businessman replacing Tom Jurich as Louisville's interim athletic director


The University of Louisville has chosen its interim replacement for suspended athletic director Tom Jurich.

Vince Tyra — a former University of Kentucky baseball player, son of a Cardinals basketball legend and part-owner of the local professional soccer team — will be announced Tuesday afternoon as the school’s interim athletic director, said a source with knowledge of the hiring process who wished not to speak publicly prior to the school’s announcement.

University of Louisville interim President Greg Postel made the announcement at a 3:45 p.m. press conference. 

Read this: Tom Jurich’s lawyer fights back, says U of L official worked on Adidas deal

Tyra will then be tasked with helping interim basketball coach David Padgett fill out his staff and with sorting out the employment status of assistant hoops coaches Jordan Fair and Kenny Johnson.

Tyra did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment.

Tyra, 51, is a member of the University of Louisville Foundation’s board and the operating partner of Southfield Capital, a Connecticut-based private equity firm, according to his LinkedIn page. He holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration from the University of Kentucky, where he was a four-year member of the baseball team.

Opinion: Tom Jurich lobby is getting louder at University of Louisville

The appointment comes less than one week after Jurich was placed on administrative leave amid FBI allegations that at least four NCAA assistant basketball coaches from across the country and an Adidas executive conspired to funnel money to top recruits. A federal criminal complaint alleges the Adidas executive and coaches at Louisville — dubbed University 6 in the complaint — conspired to attempt to pay two recruits to go to the school.

The university’s board of trustees will decide whether to retain Jurich, who has been the athletic director for about two decades.

Read this: Great success, grating style mark Tom Jurich’s Louisville legacy

Vince Tyra’s LinkedIn page details a two-decades-long business career. He currently lists himself as chairman of the board of Elite Medical Staffing, a Florida-based medical recruiting firm; a corporate adviser for ISCO Industries, a Louisville-based company that sells piping equipment; and board director of Industrial Services of America, a publicly traded metal recycling business.

He is also a member of the Skyball investment group, which owns a piece of Louisville City FC, the city’s United Soccer League professional team, according to Louisville City FC executive vice president Brad Estes.

Related: Tom Jurich struck Adidas deal in the dark, University of Louisville leader says

Tyra’s father is Charlie Tyra, the University of Louisville men’s basketball team’s first All-American and the school’s all-time leading rebounder. His No. 8 is one of four retired by the school. Charlie died in 2006 at age 71, two years after he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Postel was one of four members of the University of Louisville Foundation’s nominating committee when Tyra was nominated to the board in February. As of March, he was chairman of the board’s finance committee. Tyra’s term expires on June 30, 2018.

A long-time supporter of Cardinals athletics, Tyra’s Twitter account shows him standing in front of a basketball hoop, decked out in a red No. 8 shirt with the last name “Tyra.” He also tweets his support for Louisville City FC.

Tyra graduated in 1984 from Trinity High School, where he compiled a 17-2 record and 1.95 ERA in four years as a pitcher in addition to a .329 batting average. He was Trinity’s most valuable player in basketball and baseball his senior year, according to Courier-Journal archives.

 

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