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Missouri's newest athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois breaks barriers

Mizzou hires first female AD
Desiree Reed-Francois
Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 18:41:11-04

COLUMBIA, Mo.  — Desiree Reed-Francois is a woman on a mission. The University of Missouri's newest athletic director is ready to make waves at Mizzou.

"She has a commitment to achieving excellence," Missouri President Mun Choi said Wednesday morning at a press conference where officials at Mizzou officially introduced Reed-Francois as the new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Reed-Francois shared with the media she's ready to bring a winning culture back to MU and make sure Mizzou Athletics embodies a Championship Culture.

“In order to have that Championship Culture, we have to outwork everyone ... without excuses,” Reed-Francois said.

As the first female person of color to serve as Missouri's AD and the first female to serve as an AD at a public institution in the South Eastern Conference, she plans to set an example for others to follow one day.

"The SEC, it's the greatest conference in the entire country, and it's truly a privilege for me to be able to be in this role, but also for me to be able to provide context for young ladies that may aspire to have a role like this one day,” Reed-Francois said.

Reed-Francois is also the first female AD for MU and was asked about that accomplishment during the presser.

“I’m looking forward to that day when no one has to ask me that question," Reed-Francois said. "I understand the importance of context though and I understand that responsibility. I have a responsibility to do great work because I want to serve the University of Missouri, but I also want to keep that door open.”