Missouri hired Desiree Reed-Francois as its new athletic director on Sunday.
Reed-Francois has been athletic director at UNLV for the past four-plus years. She replaces Jim Sterk, who announced his resignation last month.
The University of Missouri board is slated to meet Tuesday to formally approve the contract. Missouri didn’t release the terms.
Reed-Francois, 49, will be the first woman AD at Missouri and, because of her Hispanic heritage, the first person of color in that role.
“This is a transformational day for Mizzou Athletics,” president Mun Choi said in a news release. “Desiree Reed-Francois brings an unsurpassed passion for student-athletes and bold, visionary skills that will propel a championship culture at MU. As a proud member of the SEC, we are energized to go into the next era of Mizzou athletics with Desiree Reed-Francois at the helm.”
Reed-Francois has more than 25 years of experience working in athletic departments. Her stint at UNLV made her the first hispanic female to be an athletic director at an FBS school.
“It is truly an honor to join Missouri’s flagship institution, and I am extremely grateful to search committee Chair (Jeff) Layman and members of the search advisory committee for this incredible opportunity,” Reed-Francois said in the news release. “The University of Missouri is a world-class academic institution with a strong commitment to athletics, and a resolve to further enhance its athletics programs to achieve elite national status is all of our endeavors.
“We have a proud and storied tradition; we compete in the premier athletic conference in the country; and, perhaps most importantly, we have a collective desire to be great. My family and I are excited to join the Mizzou Family, and I cannot wait to get started. Go Tigers!”
Layman was impressed with Reed-Francois throughout the interview process.
“She is a tough, dynamic, innovative leader who can help build upon Mizzou’s successes and position us to regularly compete for championships in the SEC and beyond,” Layman said. “The SEC is the toughest conference in the nation, and we are poised for continued success with Desiree as our leader.”
Reed-Francois recently signed a four-year extension at UNLV that runs through June 30, 2026. Published reports say the deal called for $420,000 in annual base salary.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sterk was making $700,000 in base salary.
Reed-Francois recently hired Kevin Kruger, son of Lon, as UNLV’s basketball coach.
–Field Level Media
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