History has been made as the Missouri Tigers have hired a new director of athletics. Desiree Reed-Francois has been selected to lead Mizzou’s athletics department, making her the first female AD in the University of Missouri’s history, according to Mizzou’s news release.
Missouri announced the hire of Reed-Francois Sunday evening. Reed-Francois was chosen to lead Mizzou’s athletics department after her predecessor, Jim Sterk, stepped down in late July.
Reed-Francois is set to arrive in Columbia, Missouri as she’s leaving the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. According to Mizzou’s news release, Reed-Francois has been at UNLV, serving as the athletics director there since 2017.
University of Missouri President Mun Choi issued the following statement on the hire of Reed-Francois in Mizzou’s news release:
"“This is a transformational day for Mizzou Athletics. 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.”"
Missouri Tigers: Mizzou selects Desiree Reed-Francois to be next athletics director
In addition to being the first female athletics director at Missouri, Reed-Francois will also be the first female director of athletics at a public institution in the Southeastern Conference, according to Mizzou’s news release. Reed-Francois and Vanderbilt’s Candice Storey Lee are the only female AD’s in the SEC.
During her time at UNLV, Reed-Francois hired coaches for the following sports, per Missouri’s press release:
- Men’s basketball
- Women’s basketball
- Women’s soccer
- Women’s track and Field
For Missouri’s sake, hopefully she won’t need to make that many hires while she’s Mizzou’s athletics director. However, when she eventually will need to make some hires in Columbia, Reed-Francois certainly has the experience to go out and find coaches.