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      Welcome Wren Baker new UNT AD!   07/29/2016

      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." 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. read more:  https://news.unt.edu/news-releases/wren-baker-named-unt-vice-president-and-director-athletics 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, 2016. Here’s what some are saying: Joe Castiglione, University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics: "I have known Wren Baker for many years throughout his career journey, and I can say with total confidence that he is truly one of the rising leaders within intercollegiate athletics and will do a great job at North Texas. I've been a huge fan of Wren's since I watched him build the Rogers State athletics program from scratch. The blend of Wren's background in coaching, administrative experience and character, along with his innate ability to develop positive relationships with all key stakeholders within a campus community, will continue to serve him well. Wren and his wife, Heather, will be key contributors to the enhancement of the student-athlete experience and in strengthening the entire Mean Green athletic program. Congratulations to Wren and UNT." Michael L. Aresco, Commissioner of the American Athletic Conference: "This is a spectacular hire. Having known and worked with Wren while he was at Memphis, he is an extremely experienced, personable and capable executive and will do a great job for North Texas. The college sports landscape has never been more challenging, and Wren's intelligence and vision will be enormously important to North Texas and Conference USA." Mack Rhoades, Baylor University Vice President for Athletics: "Wren Baker is a rising leader in our industry. He is an extremely talented administrator and person of great character. His background in coaching and administration and dedication to the student-athlete experience will serve UNT Athletics terrifically well. He will establish positive relationships with student-athletes, coaches, staff, the University community, alumni/fans/donors, media and other key constituents. Wren is the perfect person to lead North Texas Athletics and the UNT family will love Wren, his wife Heather and their two children, Addisyn and Reagan." Bubba Cunningham, University of North Carolina Director of Athletics: "The University of North Texas has made a great hire in Wren Baker. Wren has an uncanny ability to relate to people and create a positive, enthusiastic, and winning attitude with students, coaches, fans and alumni. He has a wonderful family and will be an outstanding addition to the University of North Texas community. His affinity for students and coaches is heartfelt and genuine. Wren will be a galvanizing leader for the campus community, and I wish him and his family all the best. Congratulations to all." Eddie Sutton, Former Oklahoma State Men's Basketball Head Coach: “Wren is a terrific choice to lead the UNT athletics program. He is one of the brightest and hardest working staff members I've had work for me. He was wonderful for us at OSU. Our coaches and players loved him. He will be a great ambassador for the university and community. He will be tireless in his pursuit for excellence. I am happy for Wren and North Texas." Tom Bowen, University of Memphis Director of Athletics: "Wren Baker is one of the finest people I have had the pleasure to work with. He is a bright and highly talented athletic leader and is the perfect choice for North Texas. I am very happy for Wren and his family and know he will do a fantastic job."
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NT80

"Hurley Administration Building"

5 posts in this topic

08/27/2002

For release:

Regents rename UNT Administration Building in honor of Alfred F. and Johanna H. Hurley

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Last weekend, at Dr. Alfred F. Hurley's final University of North Texas System Board of Regents meeting as system chancellor, the regents honored him and his wife, Johanna, by renaming the university Administration Building in their honor.

Hurley, who became the system's first full-time chancellor in October 2000 and prior to that held the university presidency longer than any other chief executive in UNT's history, announced plans in January to leave the chancellorship at the end of the 2001-2002 academic year.

When he steps down on Aug. 31, Hurley, 73, will have served as the UNT System's chief executive officer for more than 20 years.

Hurley joined the university as vice president for administrative affairs on September 1, 1980. Less than 17 months after his arrival, in February 1982, he became UNT's 12th president and the second chancellor of the informal UNT System.

Many credit Hurley as a major factor in the rise of the university and the system to educational leadership in the North Texas region, but Hurley always shared the credit for the amazing progress during his presidency and chancellorship. He acknowledges Mrs. Hurley as his full-time partner in fulfilling the responsibilities of his offices with the university and the system.

"It is fitting that the Administration Building, which stands at the center of the UNT campus and since 1956 has symbolized the seat of administrative leadership, should be named for Dr. and Mrs. Hurley," said UNT Board of Regents Chairman Bobby Ray.

"The building overlooks a campus benefiting from nearly $200 million raised in two capital campaigns and transformed by more than $260 million in construction and renovation to expand and update its facilities during Dr. Hurley's tenure. Accordingly, renaming the building the ‘Alfred F. and Johanna H. Hurley Administration Building' will be a lasting symbol of the Hurleys' accomplishments on behalf of the university and the system," Ray said.

In other action, the regents took steps to keep Hurley in the university and system communities by appointing him chancellor, emeritus, of the UNT System and president, emeritus, of the university.

In 1981, the regents approved his appointment as professor of history, with tenure.

A nationally recognized military historian, Hurley is the author of the first scholarly biography of General "Billy" Mitchell and a contributor to other works on the history of air power.

During his 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force, he headed the History Department at the Air Force Academy from 1966‑1980 and served as chairman of its Humanities Division.

He also led the development of the Air Force Academy Symposia in Military History; won a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Humanities in 1971-72; held an appointment as a Fellow in the Eisenhower Institute of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 1976‑77; and often lectured at the National Army and Navy War Colleges as well as various Air Force service schools between 1966 and 1980.

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I have been a supporter of Dr. Al Hurley from the "git-go" like many of you. I think he did all he could with what he had to work with beginning in the early 1980's (and the school had hardly any financial endowment in its coffers when he arrived on the scene). In fact, UNT didn't start its endowment fund raising until about 10 years before Al and Joanna Hurley arrived at UNT from the Air Force Academy. In fact, in the early 1970's, UNT's first attempts at financial emdowment fund raising among industry and its alums got off to a very shaky start and you can read about all that in Dr. James Rogers new book, The North Texas Story.

I believe it is largely because of Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley that we did not drop football in the dark days of the "post Bob Tyler" era. In a sense, we are playing the UT Longhorns tonight because of some actions taken by Alfred Hurley in the early 1980's. During that time, there was a move to do away with football on our campus and I don't think the man ever received his due in salvaging a pathetic athletic situation when there was no funding for it (also because there was hardly any Presidential discretionary fund to speak of to help supplement athletics to the extent that it was needed to save the program BUT Dr. Hurley and his staff saved football anyway). He deserves more credit than he has received in this matter IMHO.

I believe it is largely due to the quiet "low key" but aggressive lobbying style of "Brooklynite and New Yorker" Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley among some of our fellow loud, boisterous Texas redneck legislator "good ol' boys" down in Austin as to why TCOM is now among a group of schools under the umbrella of a school called: The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. (If you've never seen it, you owe yourself a favor to go see it now--its booming with growth and new construction just like its main campus in Denton)!

I believe the above described characteristics of one Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley is why a group of African American south Dallas County officials and politicians led by Texas State Senator Royce West (a former UTA football player) chose UNT over Texas Tech and Texas A&M to be the school of "their" choice and to eventually be the only public university located in the city limits of Dallas, Texas. BTW, a school that once it is free standing will be called: The University of North Texas at Dallas...

I believe I could go on and on about the virtues of our now Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley but I am most proud that I can call he and his lovely wife, Joanna, my friends. God Bless the Hurleys! cool.gif

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Congrats to the Hurley's. I woulda prefered the next new building be named after them instead of an old one...but it's not a big deal. smile.gif

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Dr. Al Hurley has done some great things for the University of North Texas and I do not begrudge naming a building for he and his wife. He led the improvements in academics and is the chief architect of the UNT System.

My preferences would have been to (1) rename the General Academics Building the Hurley Academics Building or (2) change the name of the College of Arts & Sciences to the Hurley College of Arts & Sciences or (3) name the next new academic building for the Hurleys.

I don't really object to naming the Administration for them UNLESS they try to do away with the McConnell Tower. Most of you didn't know Dr. W. Joseph McConnell but he was also a great college president and a friend of athletics. Under his leadership, North Texas became a university (although the name change occurred under Dr. Carl Matthews a few years later). He also saw to it that athletics be upgraded (we actually became Division 1 by his leadership. He laid the foundation for our joining the Missouri Valley Conference. I think that it is appropriate that the McConnell Tower is lighted green after each North Texas victory.

Someone is going to have to give me a lot more facts than I now know to anoint Dr. Hurley as the savior of UNT athletics. Under his watch we were relegated to Division 1-AA and lost a lot of alumni support. Even though I must also give him credit for the return to 1-A. I think that there was never serious consideration to do away with football. How many state universities do not have football? I think that only Lamar and UTA have done away with programs and we all know the immediate results that occurred.

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