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Mizzou introduces first female director of athletics

Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KFVS) - The University of Missouri introduced its new director of athletics on Wednesday, August 11.

Desiree Reed-Francois took on the position.

She is Mizzou’s first female athletics director as well as the first female athletics director in a public institution in the Southeastern Conference.

She was officially introduced during a news conference at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 11.

Speakers included Darryl Chatman, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, Mun Choi, president of the University and Reed-Francois.

Reed- Francois spoke on her plans for the university and an emphasis on championship culture.

“But ultimately I know this is the Show ME State. And I know that our actions and our results will speak louder than my words. But I know this league and I know we can do this. We can be one of the nation’s best in everything. And Everything that we do will reflect this,” said Desiree Reed-Francois, director of athletics.

She was first announced as the new athletic director on Sunday, August 8 by Mizzou President Choi.

“This is a transformational day for Mizzou Athletics,” Choi said. “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 was the first Hispanic female and woman of color athletics director at the Football Bowl Subdivision level and has spent 25 years in intercollegiate.

“It is truly an honor to join Missouri’s flagship institution, and I am extremely grateful to search committee Chair Layman and members of the search advisory committee for this incredible opportunity,” Reed-Francois said. “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!”

Reed-Francois has been at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 2017.

She and her husband, Joshua, have a son, Jackson, who will be attending MU in Fall 2022 to study journalism.

Today she received her tiger jersey and got to work on the program.

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