BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced Wednesday that Desiree Reed-Francois has been promoted to Deputy Athletics Director. She originally joined Virginia Tech in May 2014 and has served as Executive Associate Athletics Director & Senior Woman Administrator the past two years.
“Desiree has played an instrumental role in our success and she is very deserving of this promotion,” Babcock said. “I lean on her for advice and counsel often and she is an executive leader of our department in her own right. She has my trust and respect; she does a wonderful job for the Hokies.”
“Thanks to her steadfast approach and commitment, we have developed a very collaborative culture in Athletics and an enhanced commitment to excellence across the board,” he continued. “She has made a very positive impact on our department and our student-athletes, while strengthening our relationships on campus and across the country. We are very fortunate that Desiree is leading so many aspects of our team at Virginia Tech.”
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.
In addition to serving as Tech’s sport administrator for football, Reed-Francois leads the external team for the Hokies – ticketing, marketing and promotions, HokieVision, strategic communications, graphic design/publications, corporate development, and IMG, as well as having oversight of sports medicine. She serves as primary liaison from Athletics to the Office of General Counsel at Virginia Tech. Additionally, she also led the recent women’s lacrosse head coaching search for the Hokies.
“I am humbled by the trust and responsibility that Whit has placed in me,” Reed-Francois said. “But this is truly a team effort and I’m grateful for the many talented individuals who have all been part of the positive momentum that we are collectively building. Whit has been a tremendous mentor and example for us all. I appreciate his continued leadership and his support of our work as we seek to uphold and exceed the very high standards of Virginia Tech.”
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. She had previously served as Senior Associate Athletics Director/SWA at Cincinnati since 2013.
As a former NCAA Division I student-athlete herself – she was a member of the UCLA rowing team – Reed-Francois brings a unique perspective to her post, and has been a staunch advocate of making the student-athlete and fan experience at Virginia Tech even better. She and her respective units have listened to feedback from coaches, students, ticket-holders, donors and many other groups to more effectively and authentically engage a wide array of Virginia Tech stakeholders. Their efforts have recently been recognized for national awards by the National Association of Collegiate Diretors of Athletics (NACDA) and Information Display and Entertainment Association (IDEA).
A 1994 graduate of UCLA, Reed-Francois earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law. She is a member of the California Bar, taught law classes at Tennessee and Santa Clara University and is involved on the national level, serving as a Division I-A Fellow and presenting at the NACDA, NACMA, CoSIDA, and the NACWAA annual meeting.
Prior to her appointment at Cincinnati, Reed-Francois spent four years at the University of Tennessee (2008-12), where she advanced from Associate AD for Strategic Initiatives to Senior Associate AD for Strategic Planning and Initiatives.During her distringuished career in athletics administration, Reed-Francois has also enjoyed tenures at the University of California, San Jose State, Santa Clara, Fresno State and the University of San Francisco. She has also served as a legal associate for the Oakland Raiders and held a similar position with the NFL’s Management Council.
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