Desiree Reed-Francois

Desiree Reed-Francois is the new athletic director at Missouri. The UM System Board of Curators voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Reed-Francois' contract.

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The UM System Board of Curators voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the contract offered to incoming athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois. Reed-Francois is joining Missouri after four years in the same position at UNLV.

Reed-Francois’ contract is for six years. She takes over for outgoing athletic director Jim Sterk on Aug. 15. Her guaranteed annual compensation will be $800,000.

Reed-Francois, 49, will earn an annual base salary of $550,000. She will also earn an annual non-salary compensation of $250,000 in exchange for her “assignment to the University of any and all rights and income from such matters as radio/television shows, speaking appearances, apparel, marketing events, and all such matters relating to community and university functions,” according to the letter sent to her by by the university.

The offer includes $150,000 per year in deferred compensation to be paid upon completion of the contract. If Reed-Francois is fired on or after Sept. 1, 2024, she would receive the balance in the deferred compensation account at the time the contract is terminated.

Including the deferred compensation, her total annual earnings of $950,000 would make her the eighth-highest-paid athletic director at a public university in the SEC, based on data provided by ACC RX from 2020 and reporting by the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Reed-Francois can also earn $150,000 annually in incentive payments, which would include “achieving benchmarks in academic/social achievement, athletic performance and financial performance including revenue generation and development.”

The benchmarks will be set annually after “consultation with the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.”

Potential increases are subject to annual review.

Missouri will also be responsible for the “payment of liquidated damages up to $500,000” based on part of Reed-Francois’ employment agreement with UNLV. It will be paid as a “reimbursable employee business expense” and is not considered compensation.

Reed-Francois will be introduced at a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday. It will stream live on SEC Network+.

This article originally ran on columbiamissourian.com.

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