Photo gallery: Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois lands at the ZOU

Before she officially begins her role on Aug. 15, Desiree Reed-Francois visits Columbia to meet with leaders, coaches, staff, student-athletes and the media.

Aug. 11, 2021

The AD has landed. Desiree Reed-Francois, the University of Missouri’s new athletic director, is in Columbia this week — meeting with university leaders, coaches, staff, student-athletes and the media. See photos from her visit.

desiree reed-francois smiles before boarding an airplane

Reed-Francois waves at the camera before boarding a plane in Las Vegas on Aug. 10. She comes to Mizzou after serving as the athletics director at UNLV. She has more than 25 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics and will be the first female athletics director at Mizzou.

desiree reed-francois and her son and husband

Reed-Francois is joined on her trip by her son, Jackson (left), and her husband, Joshua (right). Jackson plans to attend MU in fall 2022 to study journalism.

desiree reed-francois inside an airplane

“It is truly an honor to join Missouri’s flagship institution,” Reed-Francois said. “The University of Missouri is a world-class academic institution with a strong commitment to athletics and a resolve to further enhance its athletics programs to achieve elite national status in all of our endeavors. My family and I are excited to join the Mizzou family!”

desiree reed-francois getting ready to hug truman

Nearly 1,500 miles later, Reed-Francois touched down in Tiger country. She was greeted by Truman the Tiger, the Mizzou Cheerleading team, the Golden Girls and members of Marching Mizzou.

desiree reed-francois greets cheerleaders and golden girls

Reed-Francois hit the ground running. “I am so honored and humbled to be the steward of the Tigers’ athletic program, and I cannot wait to get started,” she said.

desiree reed-francois in her office

One of her first stops on campus was to check out her new office space. “I will never ask more of anyone else than I would ask of myself,” she said. “When I’m all in, I’m all in.”

desiree reed-francois and a man walking into the football facility

Throughout the day, Reed-Francois visited with coaches, staff and student-athletes. “I am inspired by the perseverance and resilience and determination that our student-athletes bring,” Reed-Francois said. “I cannot wait to meet all of them.”

desiree reed-francois, darryl chatman and president mun choi

On Wednesday, Aug. 11, campus hosted a press conference for Reed-Francois. Curator Darryl M. Chatman (center) and President Mun Choi (right) introduced her.

desiree reed-francois speaks at a press conference

In her press conference speech, Reed-Francois said student-athletes are at the forefront of her decision-making and she expects everyone to give their absolute best every single day. “Together, we’re going to create a world-class experience that attracts the best and brightest and allows our students to better themselves and bring home championships to Columbia,” she said.

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