Arizona names Missouri’s Desireé Reed-Francois next AD

Arizona announced Monday that it named former Missouri athletics director Desireé Reed-Francois to the same position.

Reed-Francois will begin her tenure with the Wildcats in Tucson, Arizona, on March 3.

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“There are very few institutions that would entice me to leave an SEC athletics department with strong momentum,” Reed-Francois stated in a release. “The University of Arizona has tremendous potential and is an institution — and an athletics program — on the rise, and I want to be a part of shaping that future. We will provide a world-class student-athlete experience, which includes competing for championships and being among the nation’s elite. I am grateful to President (Robert C.) Robbins and the Arizona Board of Regents for this incredible opportunity.”

Reed-Francois had been at Missouri since 2021. She oversaw the Tigers’ first budget surplus in six years and led them into the Name, Image and Likeness era.

According to a release, Reed-Francois agreed to a five-year contract with an annal base salary of $1 million elevating to $1.2 million in the fifth year. There are “additional incentive compensation based on the department’s athletic and academic success, as well as retention bonuses after four and five years of employment with the University.”

Reed-Francois also spent time at Fresno State, Santa Clara, San Jose State, the University of California Berkeley and San Francisco. She also was Deputy Athletics Director at Virginia Tech, Senior Associate Athletics Director at Cincinnati, Senior Associate Athletics Director at Tennessee, and the athletics director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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Reed-Francois earned her juris doctorate from James E. Rogers College of Law at Arizona in 1997. She will have the chance to lead the Wildcats into the Big 12 Conference as they depart the Pac-12 later this year.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Desireé to the University of Arizona family, and we could not be more excited about the leadership experience and outstanding credentials she brings,” Robbins stated in a release. “Respected nationally for her commitment to student-athletes, Desireé has a history of success everywhere she’s served and is exactly the right person we need to modernize our athletics operations and usher in an ongoing culture of success in all aspects of Athletics. This is a tremendous win for our university and I cannot wait for her to get started.”