Reports: UNLV AD Desiree Reed-Francois Leaving For Missouri

Photo Courtesy of UNLV Athletics.

There has been a lot of change and turnover in the UNLV athletic department. Much of it has been at the head coaching position for its various sports teams, but it appears there will be a change at the top.  

Reports surfaced Sunday afternoon that UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois will be leaving UNLV for the Athletic Director opening at Missouri, first reported by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports and confirmed by other outlets, including Sam Gordon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. An official announcement is expected in the next 24 hours, as Thamel reported. 

In April, the university announced that Reed-Francois had signed a four-year contract extension through June of 2026. Reed-Francois had held the Athletic Director position at UNLV since 2017, where she was the first Hispanic woman to be an Athletic Director at the FBS level. 

Reed-Francois was responsible for all of the head coaching hires since she took the position, including the hirings of Marcus Arroyo, who went 0-6 in his first season as the Rebels’ head football coach, T.J. Otzelberger, who went 29-30 in his two years at UNLV before leaving for Iowa State, and Kevin Kruger, who will replace Otzelberger as the head coach of the Runnin’ Rebels as a first-time head coach. 

While the Rebels have not had much success in football and men’s basketball, Reed-Francois has made several great hirings in the other sports. She hired Lindy La Rocque as the women’s basketball coach last year and the Lady Rebels finished second in the Mountain West in her first season. And she hired Dawn Sullivan for volleyball, where the Rebels went 12-0 and made the NCAA Tournament this past season. 

UNLV has brought home conference championships in women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s tennis, men’s and women’s swimming, women’s indoor track & field, and women’s volleyball.

Reed-Francois will be replacing Jim Sterk at Missouri, who announced last month that he was stepping down from the Athletic Director position after he and the school “mutually” decided to part ways. 

There has been no additional information reported on Reed-Francois’ hiring at Missouri, which should come once the news becomes official. And no reports on possible replacements for her at UNLV.

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