The University of Arizona Appoints a New Athletic Director

The University of Arizona has announced the appointment of Desiree Reed-Francois as its new athletic director on Monday. Tucson, Ariz.

Since 2021, Reed-Francois has held the position of athletic director at the University of Missouri. Prior to this role, she was the athletic director at UNLV. Reed-Francois akso has UArizona connectios. In 1997, she obtained her law degree from UArizona.

On March 3, Reed-Francois will officially assume the position in Tucson. This will mark the first time a woman has held the full-time role of Arizona Athletic Director, as Rocky LaRose and Erika Barnes both previously filled the role on a temporary or interim basis.

President Robert Robbins expressed his enthusiasm for the addition of Reed-Francois to the University of Arizona community through a news release. He stated that her leadership experience and impressive qualifications make her a valuable asset. Her dedication to the well-being of student-athletes has garnered national recognition, and her track record of success in previous positions makes her the perfect candidate to update our athletic operations and establish a culture of continuous achievement in all aspects of Athletics. This is a significant victory for our institution, and we eagerly await her arrival and commencement of her duties.

After the departure of Dave Heeke, who was dismissed from his position as athletic director earlier this month, Reed-Francois assumes the role of interim AD, taking over from Mike Candrea.

The decision follows the university’s efforts to manage a deficit of $177 million and implement measures to reduce expenses and generate more income.

According to UArizona’s news release, Reed-Francois is known for her financial expertise and business acumen in her role as Director of Athletics. She has a strong track record in fundraising and building relationships, and has successfully transformed two college sports departments into efficient and successful operations.

Within her five-year agreement, she will receive a yearly base salary of $1 million in the first year, which will increase to $1.2 million by the fifth year. The University of Arizona Foundation will also provide an extra $250,000 annually.

On Tuesday morning, Reed-Francois will be formally presented at a campus press conference.