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University of Missouri athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois served as emcee for the 2024 Governor's prayer breakfast in Jefferson City (January 4, 2024 photo courtesy of the governor's Flickr page)

UPDATE: University of Arizona president describes Reed-Francois’ hiring as a tremendous win

Mizzou’s Faurot Field in Columbia (August 15, 2023 file photo from 939 the Eagle’s Brian Hauswirth)

Mizzou’s athletic director is heading to Arizona to become the new athletic director there. The school made the announcement in a press release late this morning, saying Desiree Reed-Francois will begin her new job in Tucson on March 3.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Desiree to the University of Arizona family, and we could not be more excited about the leadership experience and outstanding credentials she brings,” University of Arizona president Robert Robbins said, in a statement. President Robbins calls the hire a tremendous win for the university.

Arizona says Reed-Francois has signed a five-year contract that includes an annual base salary of $1-million. She’ll also have the opportunity for incentives.

Reed-Francois has issued a statement on X, saying her heart is filled with gratitude and nostalgia.

“Leaving behind such an amazing fan base is not easy, but as I embark on this new chapter back to my alma mater, I carry with me cherished memories of our time together. Thank you again for your unwavering support, your passion and your dedication,” she wrote, in part.

She’s been Mizzou’s athletic director since 2021. She’s hired six head coaches in Columbia and helped to secure a $62-million donation, the largest gift in Mizzou history.

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