Who is new Arizona Athletic Director Desireé Reed-Francois and what makes her a great hire?

Desireé Reed-Francois was hired as the University of Arizona's 11th Director of Athletics following a three-year stint at the University of Missouri. The Arizona law grad brings seven years of AD experience and over 20 years of athletic admin experience.

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The beginnings

Reed-Francois, a Fremont, California native who grew up attending Oakland Athletics games, comes from a legal background, having earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA where she was a member of the rowing team for a year before getting her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona's law school. Her brother Roman, meanwhile, played linebacker at Chabot College. 1994 solidified Reed-Francois' path in life: her brother broke his neck while making a tackle, and Reed-Francois was set on building a better future for college athletes.

Her athletics career kicked off in 1995 and while in school, when she worked for her hometown Oakland Raiders as a legal associate. After earning her doctorate from Arizona in 1997, she immediate returned back to the San Francisco Bay Area and spent two seasons with Cal as a compliance assistant. Her next stop was at San Jose State, which — in hindsight — has served as a proving ground for the new generation of Arizona Athletics. Even more interestingly, her tenure as a compliance director for the Spartans didn't line up with that of either Brent Brennan (2005-10, 2017-23) or Dick Tomey (2005-09).

Reed-Francois then spent the next 15 seasons in an associate athletic director position for six different institutions.