University of Louisville now plans to use search firm to find next athletics director

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Vince Tyra has been given the job as the permanent University of Louisville athletics director. 

The board of trustees voted unanimously to hire Tyra after the Academic & Student Affairs Committee recommended a five-year contract with an annual base salary of $850,000 with chance to earn $150,000 yearly in bonuses. He's been the interim athletic director since Tom Jurich was fired from the university last fall.

"I'm very fortunate I've inherited a great stable of coaches (and) athletes," Tyra said. "I mean, Tom has left us in a great position."

Tyra is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor's degree in health administration and played on the UK baseball team, according to his LinkedIn profile.

From 2013 to 2016, he was CEO of ISCO Industries, a privately held piping supply company based in downtown Louisville.

Tyra's father set a number of school records on court for the Cardinals in the 1950s. Charlie Tyra is one of only four players, along with Wes Unseld, Darrell Griffith and Pervis Ellison, to have his jersey number (8) retired by the school.

Vince Tyra's links to U of L grew stronger after he joined the board of the U of L Foundation and chaired the foundation's finance committee. 

He was instrumental in decisions last year to slash spending from the university's endowment to a level the foundation considers sustainable, while also writing off $38 million from the roughly $720 million fund to account for James Ramsey-era loans that the foundation can't repay.

Tyra is trying to heal wounds from the basketball prostitution scandal that netted the loss of team's 2013 nation championship. Interim President Gre g Postel said Monday that Tyra was the "best fit" for the job.

Another big decision for U of L could be made about a new men's basketball head coach on Tuesday. David Padgett had filled in as coach since Rick Pitino was fired. He was told last week that he would not return for another year as coach. 

"Running a clean program certainly has cultural aspects to it," Tyra said. "Who you hire and who you recruit will help solve some of the issues we might have."

Among other things, Tyra's contract includes a family membership at a Louisville-area golf club, travel expenses for a spouse in attending "away" games, eight premium tickets to any U of L sports team and two priority parking passes for basketball and football.

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