UNLV President Len Jessup revealed today that Desiree Reed-Francois has actually accepted terms and will become the university’s sports director, efficient June 1. An introductory news conference is set up for 2 p.m. April 18 at UNLV.
Reed-Francois, current deputy athletics director at Virginia Tech, has more than 20 years of management experience as an athlete, lawyer, and sports administrator and is considered one of the industry’s rising stars.
At UNLV, she will manage all elements of the sports program, including general operations, fiscal affairs, centers, strategic planning and external relations. She will become the first Hispanic female athletics director at the FBS level.
” There’s a great sense of enthusiasm and momentum in the neighborhood and at UNLV, and I’m honored to join this university and deal with our coaches, personnel, and student-athletes to construct on the solid structure in location,” said Reed-Francois. “College athletics have the distinct capability to educate, unite, and influence. Together, we will do all of that at UNLV and build a champion culture that leads academically and athletically.”
Reed-Francois served as second-in-command to the athletics director at Virginia Tech because 2014 and was responsible for external relations and day-to-day operations for 22 sports, more than 600 student-athletes, and 14 facilities. An administrator with an eye towards balancing the complex external and internal elements of a Power 5 sports department, she partnered on budget advancement for all athletics systems at Virginia Tech, prepared the department’s centers master strategy, revamped fundraising method, and revitalized the university’s student-athlete success program.
Under her leadership, overall ticket, marketing, and licensing income increased by more than 20 percent the previous 2 years and the organization secured the biggest corporate advancement presents in program history. This included a season ticket sellout for football and marked attendance increases in guys’s and females’s basketball, baseball, soccer and softball. She was one of simply 4 women in the country accountable for day-to-day operations of a Power Five football program and helped manage the most-attended football video game in history in 2016 when Virginia Tech and Tennessee met in front of more than 156,000 fans at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Working closely with Virginia Tech athletics director Whit Babcock, Reed-Francois was instrumental in the recruitment and hiring of present Hokies head football coach Justin Fuente (the ruling ACC Coach of the Year) and coaches for women’s basketball and lacrosse– all of which recently enjoyed or remain in the midst of stellar seasons. She likewise led the search for recently worked with first-year beach ball coach Jill Lytle Wilson.
” Desiree has tremendous depth of experience at the greatest levels of college sports and a clear vision for the future of Rebel sports, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her to UNLV,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “She has revealed the capability to manage the complex internal needs of a big Power Five sports department while at the same time stimulating fans and advocates in all sports, and I’m confident she’ll effectively move UNLV sports forward.”
Prior to Virginia Tech, Reed-Francois invested 2 years at the University of Cincinnati as senior associate athletics director and senior female administrator. There, she belonged to the executive personnel whose duties included external affairs, sport oversight and negotiation of the university’s contract with the Cincinnati Bengals for use of Paul Brown Arena throughout a school stadium renovation. For numerous months in 2014, she also served as interim athletics director.
” Desiree has a fantastic method about her,” said John Swofford, commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. “She’s kind and considerate, balanced by a strength of conviction. She’s a fantastic communicator, and her previous experiences provide strong preparation for her position as an athletics director.”
A previous student-athlete at UCLA (rowing), Reed-Francois is a strong supporter for student-athletes and understands the significance of management advancement and mentorship in ensuring their future success.
” Leadership development is at the core of college sports, and it is essential that we produce an environment causing opportunities to favorably impact lives and establish leaders in our student-athletes, our coaches, and our personnel,” said Reed-Francois.
She has actually operated at the University of Tennessee– where she was the very first female in SEC history to supervise men’s basketball– Fresno State, Santa Clara, San Jose State, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco. Prior to that, she was a practicing attorney and also spent time as a legal partner for the Oakland Raiders and the NFL’s Management Council.
Reed-Francois earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a juris doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law. She is heavily involved in sports administration at the nationwide level, participating in the Department 1 Sports Directors Leadership Institute and Fellows Program, the Women Leaders in College Sports’ Executive Institute, and as a member of the College Football Playoff Committee’s operations committee. In 2016, she was called one of twelve senior sports administrators as “NEXT UP” by College AD’s panel of reputable athletics directors.
Reed-Francois and her partner Joshua have a child, Jackson.
What They’re Stating about Desiree Reed-Francois.
” Desiree did an impressive task at Virginia Tech. She made us better in many methods and she will be missed … She is a leader who cares deeply about students, her personnel and the fan experience. The future is really bright at UNLV under her leadership.” – Whit Babcock, Virginia Tech Director of Athletics
” … She’s displayed the ability to construct partnerships with corporate partners, community leaders and donors, while supporting emerging skill on her own team. UNLV and the Mountain West simply got better by adding Desiree Reed-Francois to their ranks.” – Patti Phillips, CEO– Women Leaders in College Sports
” It was only a matter of time prior to a school like UNLV was wise enough to use Desiree Reed-Francois a chance to lead their sports department. What a great hire!” – John Currie, Director of Athletics, University of Tennessee
” Desiree is a rising star in this occupation … She is a very capable leader who will be a tremendous property to UNLV.” – Jeremy Foley, Director of Athletics Emeritus, University of Florida
” Desiree and the UNLV community are a best fit. Both have great energy and focus, with a high level of pride and persistence. Fantastic things will take place there.” – Debbie Yow, Director of Sports, North Carolina State University
” … She’s just a class act … She’s an innovator who cares deeply about student-athletes and empowering members of her groups to be effective.” – Frank Beamer, Former Virginia Tech Head Football Coach, College Football Playoff Choice Committee Member
” … Desiree’s leadership will strengthen the UNLV brand as she accepts its numerous positives, while challenging coaches, student-athletes and the entire sports’ personnel to pursue even loftier heights …” – Justin Fuente, Head Football Coach, Virginia Tech
” … Her character, management and work principles will not only change the trajectory of the department, however will have an impact within the institution and the city. We will miss her greatly!” – Buzz Williams, Head Guys’s Basketball Coach, Virginia Tech