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What’s the scoop on Mizzou’s new athletics director?

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Mizzou Links for August 9, 2021.

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New week, New AD

In case you missed it, the Mizzou athletics director position was filled last night. After a nationwide search to find Jim Sterk’s replacement, the school has chosen Desiree Reed-Francois to serve as the new AD at Missouri’s flagship university.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the quick bio for those wanting to basic info:

Reed-Francois, UNLV’s athletics director since 2017, has worked at two Power 5 schools in high-ranking deputy positions. At Mizzou, she’ll be the first woman of color to run an athletics department at a public institution in the Southeastern Conference and just the second female AD in the league’s history. In 2017, Reed-Francois became the first female of color to become an athletics director at the FBS level. The Fremont, California, native is identified as Hispanic in her UNLV bio. According to a 2017 ESPN profile, Reed-Francois grew up in Northern California as the child of a Mexican mother and English father.

One of the key distinctions here is that Reed-Francois will be the first woman of color to run a department at a public institution. Candice Lee is the athletics director at Vanderbilt, which just so happens to be a private university. So yay for technicalities letting us be the real groundbreakers!

The Kansas City Star ran down a few of the career highlights for Reed-Francois, some of which you’ll be able to discern just by doing some basic research. However, I did find this nugget newsworthy, even if it’s not exactly a secret.

Reed-Francois oversaw new coaching appointments for both of UNLV’s main revenue sports, football and men’s basketball.

The school agreed to part ways with former football coach Tony Sanchez following the 2019 season and Reed-Francois hired Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. Playing a COVID-affected schedule, Arroyo went 0-6 in his first season in Las Vegas.

On the hardwood, Reed-Francois oversaw the hiring of South Dakota State’s T.J. Otzelberger in March 2019 after firing former coach Marvin Menzies. Otzelberger went 29-30 in two seasons before being plucked away by Iowa State in the offseason.

Mizzou isn’t in dire need for any new program leaders at this moment, but it’s no secret that Cuonzo Martin has lost some of his support amongst the Mizzou faifthful. Should he need to be replaced, it’s good to know Reed-Francois has at least seen the business end of a major coaching change.

Reed-Francois will be introduced to the press at some point this week. Until then, everyone welcome the new AD to town in the comments!


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