Titans’ Byard given naming rights to new MTSU strength, conditioning center

Byard ended MTSU career as all-time leader in interceptions, interception return yards and interception return touchdowns.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 12:42 PM CDT
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee Titans and former MTSU standout Kevin Byard will have naming rights to the strength and conditioning center in the university’s new Student Athlete Performance Center, the university’s athletics department announced Tuesday.

The university said Byard, who became the second MTSU football player to have his number retired in September, is making a significant gift to the Big Blue Campaign as announced by the Blue Raider Athletic Association.

“I am super excited about the future of MTSU athletics and the impact that this new facility will have for not only recruiting, but the development of the student athletes,” Byard said in a news release. “I am proud to be an alumnus of this great institution.”

The Build Blue Campaign has now secured more than $18 million in donor cash, donor pledges and additional funds towards the over $100 million in transformational changes coming to the athletics facilities landscape at MTSU.

“During his time at MTSU, Kevin embodied what a student-athlete is all about in the leadership and high character he displayed in all facets of his life,” Director of Athletics Chris Massaro said in a news release. “This generous gift is another demonstration of his leadership, and we are extremely grateful for all that Kevin has done and continues to do for his university. KB was one of the hardest working student athletes we have ever had, and we are proud to carry that legacy for generations to come. We are honored to put his name on the strength and conditioning center.”

Byard was a four-year starter for MTSU from 2012-15 and ended his career as the program’s all-time leader in interceptions (19), interception return yards (377), interception return touchdowns (4) and is one of just nine players in school history with 300 or more tackles. He also forced or gained 25 turnovers in 49 career games played.

“I can’t thank Kevin enough for what he has done and is doing for Middle Tennessee football,” MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill said in a news release. “Kevin will always have a special place in my heart because of the respect, love and appreciation I have for him.”

Construction on the $66-million Student Athlete Performance Center is expected to begin in April. The three-story, 85,500-square-foot performance center will provide all MTSU student-athletes with new facilities for weight training, nutrition and sports medicine. It will also be the new home for MTSU football, allowing football operations to move from Murphy Center to Floyd Stadium.