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COLUMBIA. Mo. — The University of Missouri is adding an extra year to the contract of the leader of their athletics department.

Mizzou’s Board of Curators voted unanimously in a recent meeting to approve a one-year extension of the contract of athletic director Desireé Reed-Francois, through June 30, 2028.

Reed-Francois has been in Columbia since August of 2021 and became the first woman to be an athletic director at Missouri and any public school in the Southeastern Conference.

The Tigers have made progress toward the construction of a full-length indoor football practice facility and her first major hire of men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates saw the program be reinvigorated as they returned to the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers have also had attendance growth in men’s basketball, football and in the number of student all-sport passes under Reed-Francois’ tenure.

Men’s basketball’s average attendance rose 62.6% in 2022-23, which led the nation’s power conferences, and football’s 17% growth topped the Southeastern Conference. A record number of 9,000-plus student all-sport passes were sold, which led to a 37% increase in student attendance. 

On top of improving on-field play and attendance, Reed-Francois has also increased the pockets of the athletics department.

Reed-Francois led Mizzou to its first budget surplus in six years, in part due to innovative revenue-generating ideas including the enhancement and expansion of an in-house ticket sales team with a focus on group and student-ticket sales, the reintroduction of block seating at football games, and a complete retooling of the gameday and in-game experience at football and men’s basketball games. 

The Tiger Scholarship Fund raised over $41 million in Fiscal Year 2022, the fourth-most productive year in TSF history and the highest total in a year that did not contain a capital campaign.