DENTON, Texas – Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker announced the addition of Jessie Gardner as North Texas’ new Senior Associate Athletics Director for Leadership and Personal Brand Development Friday.
Gardner comes to UNT after serving the last seven-plus years as Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Enhancement at Alabama. While in Tuscaloosa, she created the D.R.I.V.E. For Success Career & Leadership Development program in 2014. She oversaw total operation of the program, and in 2015, added direction of the Life Skills & Community Outreach initiatives.
"We are thrilled to welcome Jessie to the Mean Green Family,” Baker said. “She is a skilled leader, with a strong belief in the holistic growth and development of student-athletes. Her addition will allow us to continue to move forward our mission of Building Champions and Preparing Leaders.”
Gardner was also responsible for the design, coordination, and implementation of the Emerging Tide Leaders Academy. She also led in the organization and execution of all efforts related to the annual Alabama Athletics achievement show. Additionally, she served as the primary advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
“I am honored and excited to join the Mean Green and I want to thank Wren Baker, Jared Mosley and Natasha Oakes for this incredible opportunity. The mission of Building Champions and Preparing Leaders is evident in every aspect of UNT’s operations, and I look forward to working with the student-athletes, coaches, and staff. I am thrilled to support the Mean Green’s future success!”
Gardner began her career in collegiate athletics as Life Skills Coordinator at Nebraska from 2011-14.
A former soccer student-athlete and three-time graduate of UCF, she earned two Master’s degrees through the DeVos Sports Business Management program after completing her undergraduate degree in Orlando.
Gardner fills the newly created role of Senior Associate AD for Leadership and Personal Brand Development. Responsibilities of the position include supporting and fostering personal, social and professional growth for the more than 350 student-athletes at UNT. The position is also charged with overseeing, enhancing and continually creating leadership development programming for student-athletes and staff.