Desiree Reed-Francois

University of Missouri Director of Athletics

Desiree Reed-Francois came to Mizzou in 2021 after serving four years as the director of athletics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. ReedFrancois also served as the deputy athletics director at Virginia Tech and as a senior associate athletics director at the University of Cincinnati. At the University of Tennessee, she became the first woman to oversee a men’s basketball program in
the SEC, which followed stints at California State University-Fresno, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, the University of California Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco.

Reed-Francois earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of California and taught law classes at the University of Tennessee and at Santa Clara University. Prior to her work in college athletics, Reed-Francois worked as a legal associate for the Oakland Raiders and the NFL’s Management Council.

She is the Lead1 Board of Directors Vice Chair and serves on the organization’s executive committee, as well as sitting on the boards for Women Leaders in College Sports, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches. Reed-Francois recently served as vice chair of the NCAA Baseball Selection
Committee and formerly was a member of the College Football Playoff Committee’s operations committee.

A former rowing student-athlete at UCLA, Reed-Francois is the first female athletic director in Mizzou’s history, the first female athletic director in a public institution in the SEC, and was the first Hispanic female and woman of color athletics director at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.

Reed-Francois and her husband, Josh Francois, are the parents of current men’s basketball student-athlete Jackson Francois.