Wren Baker named UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics effective Aug. 22

Friday, July 29, 2016 - 18:40
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DENTON (UNT), Texas − Today, the University of North Texas System Board of Regents voted unanimously to appoint Wren Baker as the new UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics, effective Aug. 22.

Baker, who currently is the interim Director of Athletics at the University of Missouri, will be officially introduced to the UNT community during a press conference at 10 a.m., Monday Aug. 1, 2016, in The Hub Club (Level 3) of Apogee Stadium.

"Wren Baker's passion for college sports is unmatched, and he is a proven effective leader with critical experience in hiring coaches, efficiently administering an athletics department, increasing support across the board and taking care of student-athletes," UNT President Neal Smatresk said. "I believe he will move athletics at UNT to the next level of success, and I am excited for the future."

Wren Baker named UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics
UNT president Neal Smatresk joins new UNT athletic director Wren Baker and his wife Heather at a press conference in Apogee Stadium on the UNT campus in Denton, Texas on August 1, 2016. Photo by Michael Clements.

Read what athletics leaders are saying about Wren Baker.

In 2015, Baker began his tenure as the Deputy Director of Athletics at Missouri, where he was responsible for assisting the athletic director with the administration of the SEC athletics program. He led the athletic department's external relations team, including development, marketing, licensing, the ticket office and strategic communications. During his first year at Missouri, Baker oversaw the implementation of a new annual fund model and restructured the external team.

"I am grateful to President Smatresk, the search committee and the UNT System Board of Regents for their confidence in me, and I am humbled to serve our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans," Baker said. "I consider it a great honor and privilege to join the Mean Green family. I look forward to working with all of our fans and constituents to build an athletics program that will be recognized nationally for competitive excellence and academic achievement. UNT and the Denton community provide everything we need to be successful, and I can't wait to get started."

Prior to arriving at Missouri, Baker served as the Deputy Athletics Director from 2013 to 2015 at the University of Memphis, where he oversaw external relations and assisted in department operations. At Memphis, Baker initiated a complete reorganization that resulted in improved efficiencies and hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings while increasing revenues in ticket sales, annual fund support, major gifts and multimedia rights, including setting a record for football suite sales, major gifts and overall donations.

Baker served as the Director of Athletics at NCAA Division II power Northwest Missouri State University from 2010-2013. He also served as the first Director of Athletics and Head Men's Basketball Coach at Rogers State University, where he led the formation of the athletic department while posting an inaugural 20-11 record before stepping down to become the full-time Athletics Director.

Baker will succeed Rick Villarreal, who stepped down in June after nearly 16 years as UNT's Director of Athletics. UNT's Department of Athletics has 16 NCAA Division I teams competing in Conference USA, including football, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The Mean Green have earned 123 conference championships and four national championships.

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