The mark of an excellent athletic director or coach is that he starts to develop a web of hires around the country. You always see, for example, the Coach K coaching tree (look at Steve Wojciechowski at Marquette or Chris Collins at Northwestern).
Virginia Tech’s Whit Babcock now appears to have that tree himself. Reed-Francois, according to a report in the Las Vegas Journal, will be the next athletic director at UNLV.
Virginia Tech deputy athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois has agreed to a deal to become UNLV’s AD, according to a source close to the situation.
The university is expected to introduce Reed-Francois during a news conference Tuesday, according to multiple sources. Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock and Reed-Francois’ family are expected to be in attendance.
A source close to Reed-Francois said the contract has been signed by both sides.
Reed-Francois, 45, became the leading candidate for UNLV’s opening after making a strong impression on the search committee during her interview last weekend in Salt Lake City. One source said she blew away the field.
Whit Babcock saw that Reed-Francois would be an excellent leader right away. Babcock hired Reed-Francois as Executive Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administration. She was then promoted to Deputy Athletics Director. You can see more on her hire at Virginia Tech in the various positions and her career at the University of Cincinnati from @HokieSports below:
A 2009 graduate of the Division I Athletics Director Institute, Reed-Francois is among an elite group of Power Five female administrators who have ascended to the role of Deputy AD. She is also among an even more exclusive group of women who oversee the day-to-day operations of a nationally-prominent FBS football program. Along with Babcock, she played a pivotal role in the hiring of head coach Justin Fuente to succeed Frank Beamer.
A key component of Babcock’s leadership group at the University of Cincinnati, Reed-Francois was named the Bearcats’ interim Director of Athletics in early 2014 when Babcock left for the AD job at Tech, making her the first Hispanic female (interim) director of athletics at the FBS level. [Emphasis Mine - this is history making] She had previously served as Senior Associate Athletics Director/SWA at Cincinnati since 2013.
Congratulations to Desiree Reed-Francois!! The Virginia Tech and the Atlantic Coast Conference are leaders in promoting females for upper level management positions in athletics!