Titans’ Kevin Byard Given MTSU Student-Athletic Center Naming Rights

MTSU Head Coach Rick Stockstill and Kevin Byard. Photo: Courtesy of Emily Cole and MTSU Athletics

They don’t call Kevin Byard the “Mayor of Murfreesboro” for nothing. Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)’s Blue Raider Athletic Association announced that the current Tennessee Titans star and former Blue Raider student-athlete has given a significant gift to the Build Blue Campaign.

The gift, along with his accomplishments on and off the field, will give Byard naming rights to the strength and conditioning space in the new Student-Athlete Performance Center.

“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,” says Byard. “I am proud to be an alumnus of this great institution.”

The Build Blue Campaign has now secured over $18 million in donor cash, donor pledges and additional funds towards the over $100 million in transformational changes coming to the athletic facility landscape at MTSU. More than 300 individuals and families have contributed to the Build Blue campaign so far.

“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,” says Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. “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, a four-year starter for the Blue Raiders from 2012-2015, 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. A team captain, Byard forced or gained 25 turnovers (19 INT, 5 FF, 1 FR) in 49 career games played.

The Lithonia, Georgia native was a First Team All-Conference selection as well as a FWAA Freshman All-American, while leading the team in interceptions all four years. MTSU retired his number 20 on Sept. 30, 2022, making it only the second football number to be retired in school history.

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

MTSU’s goal for the Build Blue Campaign was increased to $20 million in September and construction on the $66-million Student-Athlete Performance Center is expected to begin next month.

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 Blue Raider Football, allowing MTSU to relocate their football operations from Murphy Center to Floyd Stadium.

Steven Boero