August 20, 2019 Currently: 91° | Complete forecast

Desiree Reed-Francois announced as new UNLV athletic director



Desiree Reed-Francois

UNLV announced today the hiring of Desiree Reed-Francois as its new athletic director.

Reed-Francois, who had been the deputy AD at Virginia Tech, will assume her post at UNLV on June 1, when AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy's contract is set to expire. Kunzer-Murphy will then shift to a fundraising role within the UNLV Foundation.

An introductory press conference for Reed-Francois will be held Tuesday afternoon.

UNLV President Len Jessup extolled Reed-Francois' experience and leadership.

“Desiree has tremendous depth of experience at the highest levels of college athletics and a clear vision for the future of Rebel athletics, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her to UNLV,” Jessup said in a news release. “She has shown the ability to manage the complex internal demands of a large Power Five athletics department while simultaneously energizing fans and supporters in all sports, and I’m confident she’ll successfully move UNLV athletics forward.”

Reed-Francois becomes the first Hispanic female athletic director at an FBS school. A graduate of UCLA, she has a law degree from the University of Arizona and almost 20 years of experience in collegiate athletics. She served as Cincinnati's interim AD for five months in 2014 and handled a variety of roles at Virginia Tech, including overseeing the football program. Last year, she was instrumental in hiring football coach Justin Fuente, who went on to win ACC Coach of the Year honors in 2017.

“There’s a great sense of enthusiasm and momentum in the community and at UNLV, and I’m honored to join this university and work with our coaches, staff, and student-athletes to build on the solid foundation in place,” Reed-Francois said in the release. “College athletics have the unique ability to educate, unite and inspire. Together, we will do all of that at UNLV and build a championship culture that leads academically and athletically.”

Reed-Francois's contract will run through 2022 at $350,000 per year.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at