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Mizzou’s New AD Has Arrived, and Hopes are Sky High

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Mizzou News for Wednesday, August 11

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She’s Here! Desiree is Here!

First off, apologies to our dear long-time Rock M commenter who shares the same name, as our new Athletics Director is going to be getting the top billing around here from here on out. And whereas Jim Sterk’s whole name just kinda rolled off the tongue, it’s not the case for the new woman in charge, Desiree Reed-Francois, so until I figure out something new to call her, she’s probably just Desiree.

It was a big day on Tuesday, as Desiree (Des? DR-F?) officially got to CoMo. First up… an arrival video, fresh from the airport! Loving the shoes. (She’ll be officially introduced at 10am in a press conference, airing on SEC Network+)

And then off to one of her first stops, the South End Zone complex, where she said hello and shared her high hopes for Mizzou’s football team.

I also LOVE to see this from Mizzou volleyball transfer, Brynn Carlson, who chose Mizzou in early May to pursue an additional master’s degree and finish out her eligibility. As someone who aspires to work in athletics myself, seeing a woman leading Mizzou Athletics is inspiring.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter talked with some of her former coaches at UNLV to get the inside scoop, and the overwhelming consensus? Mizzou’s new leader is intelligent, bright, approachable, and hard-working. Here’s some highlights…

From UNLV softball coach Kristie Fox, who was one of Reed-Francois’ first hires back in 2017:

“She values people at the top of her leadership style,” Fox said. “She gets to know her staff. She gets to know the different people that work throughout the athletics department, not just the coaches. She tries to create relationships to get the best out of all of the people around her, which I think is the best leadership style there is.”

That’s why she was so impressed last year when Reed-Francois was there to greet every UNLV soccer player the first day they reported for preseason practice.

“She made every freshman and every newcomer introduce themselves, stand up straight and be proud to be a Rebel,” Ruiz-Williams said. “She makes time for everyone.”

From former Tennessee AD, Mike Hamilton, who hired Reed-Francois as his associate AD for strategic initiatives:

“There’s no substitute for intellect,” he added. “People don’t talk a lot about that, but candidly, being bright means something. She is very bright. She has the intellectual capacity to deal with the issues we face in college athletics, both historically and those that are facing us full throttle in the future. The other thing she has, and again there is no substitute for this either, is an incredible work ethic. You can outwork people. At the end of the day, you can still outwork people. She has a work ethic that has allowed her to make the progress she’s made.”

Y’all, I love this hire, and Dave Matter’s article really sold me on her even more.

Onto the Links!

SIDE NOTE: Get em, DRU and TILLY! Both the Heat and the Magic are back in action today, with the Heat facing Memphis at 4pm on ESPN3 and the Magic facing the Cavs at 5pm on ESPN2.


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Football

  • Here’s Ben Arnet talking with Harrison Mevis about his nickname, the Thiccer Kicker (pretty sure this was coined by Rock M’s very own Nate Edwards, if I’m not mistaken)
  • Love this from Coach Coop! Coaching supporting coaches!

Washington, 74, played at Southeast High and Missouri, where he was an All-America defensive tackle in 1967. He played on the defensive side for two seasons with the Chargers before moving to offense at right tackle.

Hoops

  • The social media reviews on the new court are in, and they are… as expected… extremely positive. (peep those twitter posts and you may see from one from someone you know… hint—it’s meeeeee)
  • Mama’s quest with the FIBA U19 World Cup team continues this morning!
  • Welcome, newcomers!
  • GO, ZO!!!!

Other Mizzou Sports/News

  • Here’s more from Coach Golan, who was recently mic’d up at practice. Love her energy!

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