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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Early administrative career

Reed-Francois got her feet wet as a deputy athletic director with Santa Clara in 2002, where sheheld the title of Associate Athletic Director and stayed for a year before moving into a similar position outside of the Bay Area for the first time. Her next stop was at Fresno State from 2003-06, where she retained the Associate Athletic Director title but also added responsibilities as a Senior Woman Administrator for the first time in her career. Her final foundational stop was a return to the Bay Area as as Associate AD and SWA the University of San Francisco for two seasons from 2007-08.

Her first big-time job was with Tennessee, where she was hired in 2008 as the Senior Associate AD. She focused on the strategic initiatives — a fancy name for giving the university a step-by-step plan on how to better student-athlete life and generate revenues — from 2008-10. She was best known at this time as being the direct supervisor to the Tennessee men's basketball team that made three straight NCAA Tournaments from 2009-11 and didn't finish with less than 19 wins in the span. During this time, she was also an adjunct professor of law and presumably gave lectures over her entire nearly-four-year tenure with the Volunteers.

She was hired by Cincinnati as a Senior Associate AD and SWA in 2013, and she worked under Athletic Director Whit Babcock (remember this name). She oversaw Cincinnati's football, volleyball, and women's basketball programs for a year before Babcock stepped down to take the Virginia Tech job. She stepped in and served as Cincinnati's interim AD for just under a month before Cincinnati decided to hire Mike Bohn as Babcock's full-time successor.

Shortly following Bohn's hire, Reed-Francois opted to rejoin Babcock at Virginia Tech in 2014 as the Senior Associate AD and the second-in-command. She was directly responsible for VT's football team while also overseeing external relations and day-to-day operations for all 22 sports. During this time, she worked closely with the budgets for all sports, and ticket sales, marketing revenue, and licensing agreements all rose by over 20% over her final two years.