Graney: Desiree Reed-Francois lands Power 5 job she so coveted

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There is simply a crushed UNLV diversion manager Desiree-Reed Francois was listed among candidates for fundamentally each Power Five openings the past twelvemonth oregon so.

Climbers privation to climb.

Reed-Francois is disconnected to Missouri of the Southeastern Conference, becoming the archetypal pistillate and idiosyncratic of colour to service arsenic the university’s diversion manager successful a full-time capacity.

Hers is simply a resume that has seen some sides of collegiate athletics, of the affluent and poor, the big-time jobs and those of small effect successful the assemblage world. The monolithic budgets. The ones that annually bleed red.

She knows intimately the haves and have-nots.

A immense difference

It makes each the consciousness successful the satellite wherefore she chased the diversion director’s seat astatine a Power Five school. If you’re her, you locomotion to Columbia, and I’m not definite anyone has ever uttered those words.

But it’s 2021. College athletics is astatine a tenuous point. Texas and Oklahoma person jumped from the Big 12 to the SEC, portion different Power Five conferences scramble to antagonistic what could beryllium a concatenation absorption of historical question crossed the landscape.

What were erstwhile whispers person grown to large conversations astir powerfulness leagues moving from the Group of Five to signifier their ain division. Never has the divided betwixt Power Five schools and everyone other been this vast.

Think astir it. The SEC distributed $45.5 cardinal to each of its subordinate schools successful 2020 and is connected gait to instrumentality successful $1.3 cardinal successful gross during the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The Mountain West — of which UNLV is simply a subordinate — is acceptable to wage its schools astir $4 cardinal per twelvemonth from its caller media rights deal.

Which is however overmuch the SEC spends connected pencils.

That’s wherefore Reed-Francois wanted an invitation to the lone enactment that matters. You can’t blasted her. She worked astatine Tennessee successful a erstwhile halt and knows afloat good the mighty SEC brand.

She arrived to UNLV successful 2017 from Virginia Tech arsenic the archetypal Hispanic pistillate diversion manager astatine the Football Bowl Subdivision level. In April, she signed a four-year declaration hold done 2026 with an adjusted yearly basal wage of $420,000.

But however palmy her clip astatine UNLV was warrants a large people of incomplete.

And that’s being benignant successful the lone sports that matter.

Ironic. She is bound for the astir almighty of conferences and yet surely didn’t onshore the Missouri occupation for her UNLV hires successful shot and men’s basketball.

Reed-Francois fired Tony Sanchez arsenic shot manager successful 2019 and replaced him with Marcus Arroyo. He went 0-6 successful a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and his 2nd UNLV squad has been handed a triumph full of 1.5. Arroyo hasn’t done thing yet.

She besides fired men’s hoops manager Marvin Menzies and replaced him with T.J. Otzelberger, who went 29-30 and didn’t scope the postseason successful 2 seasons earlier departing for Iowa State.

It’s the lone Power Five occupation Otzelberger could person sniffed astatine the time, and lone due to the fact that of his adjacent ties successful Ames. Reed-Francois replaced him with adjunct Kevin Kruger. He hasn’t coached a game.

Some strides made

UNLV has won successful sports specified arsenic women’s volleyball and softball and women’s hoops lately nether coaching hires made by Reed-Francois. It’s nice. It’s not football.

There were large strides made successful fundraising and academics.

There were besides influential donors who stepped distant from the programme for assorted reasons during her tenure.

This was Reed-Francois upon agreeing to that four-year extension: “It has been a accelerated 4 years, and portion determination is much enactment up of us, we are precise optimistic for the future. We privation the translation of UNLV athletics to beryllium sustaining and agelong term, and we are headed successful that direction.”

About 3 months later, she’s gone.

The authorities of Missouri is portion of 3 upland ranges. There are astir 549 peaks.

Hey, climbers privation to climb.

Ed Graney is simply a Sigma Delta Chi Award victor for sports file penning and tin beryllium reached astatine oregon 702-383-4618. He tin beryllium heard connected “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday done Friday. Follow @edgraney connected Twitter.

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