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  1. COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nearly a week into its national search for the school's next athletics director, Mizzou has started backchannel efforts to size up the AD market. As we wrote last week, MU wants to swing big for a sitting Power 5 AD with Southeastern Conference experience, but based on calls being made, MU is monitoring other candidates who don’t fit that profile exactly. Here’s a name that’s surfaced in some early discussions: East Carolina’s Jon Gilbert. He’s been at ECU for nearly three years after spending two years as Southern Miss’ AD. Before that, Gilbert, 52, worked at two SEC programs for more than two decades combined: 17 years at Alabama and six years at Tennessee as executive senior associate AD. Top-tier candidate? Backup option? Stay tuned. After the first week of action, North Texas' Wren Baker is another AD outside of the Power 5 who remains worth watching in this search. read more: https://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/as-mizzou-search-continues-where-do-power-5-schools-find-their-ad/article_a93aca12-6c66-58bf-b270-0de595da971a.html
  2. Mean Green Nation, It is a great time to be a part of North Texas Athletics! Momentum is at an all-time high and we have so much to be thankful for as we reflect on the past year and prepare for the future. I am so proud of our coaches, support staff, and student-athletes who continue to raise the bar of excellence as we deliver on our mission despite dealing with the challenges of a global pandemic. In 2020-21 we saw a number of outstanding successes in the competitive arena, in the classroom, and in the community. A few notable accomplishments include: Achieved the 2nd highest overall winning percentage in the past 40 years Claimed Conference USA Championships in softball, women’s golf and men’s basketball Earned our first NCAA men’s basketball tournament win Secured Conference USA individual championships from Audrey Tan (women’s golf), Vicente Marzilio (men’s golf), and Zion Hill (men’s javelin) Posted a perfect score in the Academic Performance Rate in five sports Delivered a record Graduation Success Rate of 86% Construction progress continues on key athletic facilities that will enable us to further develop our student-athletes physically, academically, and socially. We are near the end of construction on our state-of-the-art golf practice facility made possible by a lead gift from Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer and support from numerous donors. Be on the lookout for details on a formal dedication of this great facility. The Lovelace and McNatt Families Practice Facility has been open for a full season, and I am amazed at how we’ve been able to utilize it to improve the experience of every UNT student-athlete. On bad and extreme weather days, the facility is abuzz with activity from daylight until dark. We recently completed work with architects to determine programming needs for an expanded Athletic Center. As outlined in the Light the Tower Facility Master Plan, we have a critical need to expand this facility in order to better serve our student-athletes in the areas of sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and academic support. We are also increasing the scope to make improvements to the facilities used by our softball and volleyball programs in the Mean Green Village. We look forward to sharing details of our updated facility plans in the coming months. Despite a chaotic year with many disruptions, Mean Green momentum remains strong and we want to thank you for the important part you play in our trajectory as an institution. Your financial support and attendance at games are vital to our continued success. We look forward to full stadiums and the return of the full game day experience, including tailgating, this fall. We can’t wait to see Apogee rocking. Finally, we launched the UNiTe Initiative, a 5-year strategic initiative to grow our donor base exponentially. To learn more about the UNiTe Initiative and to join the Mean Green Scholarship Fund, please visit http://meangreenscholarshipfund.com today. For as little as $25, you can become a member and support the scholarship and academic endeavors of our 400 student-athletes. On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, thank you for helping us Build Champions and Prepare Leaders. North Texas, We Love! Wren Baker Vice President and Director of Athletics
  3. Wren Baker Baker was hired by the University of North Texas as vice president and athletics director in July 2016. Before that, he served as deputy athletics director of external affairs from 2013-15 as well as deputy athletics director at Missouri beginning in 2015. During his time in Memphis, Baker helped the Tigers secure the largest gift in the university's history, finished with a record fundraising year, and set a new mark for suite sales and multimedia rights revenue. Since Baker's hiring, the North Texas football team has reached a bowl game in all but one season. Read more: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/sports/2019/05/15/memphis-athletics-director-candidates/3668804002/
  4. https://marketscale.com/industries/sports-and-entertainment/wren-baker What does it take to build a consistent winning program? That’s the question being asked on a daily basis by everyone from athletic directors, to coaches, to business owners. Everyone wants to win, but few possess the ability to draw up the blueprint to make it happen. Since his arrival in Denton, Texas in July 2016, Wren Baker, Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of North Texas, has built a program that has ascended out of the doldrums of the NCAA and onto the map. Establishing a long-term presence in the national consciousness is his next challenge, and it might prove to be more difficult than getting them there in the first place.
  5. I had the chance to sit down for an interview with Wren Baker. We chatted about the state of UNT athletics, why he believed he could turn the Mean Green into consistent winners, and the future of the https://marketscale.com/industries/sports-and-entertainment/wren-baker
  6. Many thought something would be announced by Wednesday, when Taylor said he hoped to meet with Snyder and discuss his future. Instead, fans are still nervously checking their phones for updates. Taylor did not return a message seeking comment for this story, and the only statements Snyder has made have been one-liners to reporters camped outside K-State’s football complex. The waiting game has gone on long enough that one news outlet inadvertently posted a pre-written story announcing Snyder’s retirement and quickly took it down. And for North Texas athletic director Wren Baker to take to Twitter and calm fans about the rising speculation that Mean Green coach Seth Litrell is a potential candidate to replace Snyder, if he retires. How did we get here? There are a few explanations. read more: https://www.kansas.com/sports/college/big-12/kansas-state/article222501925.html Read more here: https://www.kansas.com/sports/college/big-12/kansas-state/article222501925.html#storylink=cpy
  7. read more: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/for-kansas-football-to-succeed-its-next-coach-must-be-able-to-afford-to-fail/
  8. Wren Baker vowed better times were on the way when he took over as North Texas' athletic director in summer 2016. Those times certainly appeared to arrive during the fall sports season that will go down as one of the best in program history. Those few months kicked off Baker's second year at the school. The UNT football team won the Conference USA West Division title and played in the New Orleans Bowl. And that was only one milestone school officials see as an indication of how far the program has come in a short time. UNT won the C-USA tournament in women's soccer and the regular season title in volleyball. The school also broke ground on a new facility for its soccer and track programs. "I am proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Baker said. "This fall was certainly one to celebrate and be proud of. I'm also grateful for our alumni and fans, as well as the community, for supporting and embracing our student-athletes. Together, we are building a program that excels academically and athletically." read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/mean-green/2018/01/16/unt-cites-fall-success-sign-baker-delivering-promise-elevate-programs
  9. Click here to listen to the show in its entirety: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/podcast/barbershop-podcast-176 We appreciate your support! And as always --- GO MEAN GREEN!
  10. Sept. 2, 2016 As a part of new Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker's outreach to Mean Green students, alumni and fans, the North Texas Athletics Department is asking fans to participate in an online survey to provide feedback on the gameday experience in and around Apogee Stadium. "We want to provide the best gameday experience possible, and we understand the importance of continuous improvement," Baker said. "To accomplish our goals, we need our fans to tell us what they like and where we can improve. As we go throughout the season, we will work to implement changes on any issues we identify through the survey collections." The survey can be accessed at meangreensurvey.com. The survey will begin accepting feedback at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, when the Mean Green football team kicks off the 2016 season against SMU at Apogee Stadium. Responses submitted prior to that time will not be recorded. Members of the athletics department, including Baker, will greet fans at the gates to Apogee this Saturday and hand out cards to fans, asking for their feedback. Fans who complete the survey have the opportunity to give their name to be entered into a drawing for prizes, including Mean Green apparel, unique VIP game experiences and tickets to upcoming athletic events. http://www.meangreensports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090216aac.html https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0wkiSR2mjjR9tYh
  11. Jim Sterk will become Mizzou's new Athletic Director, University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced today. Sterk, who joined San Diego State University in 2010, has overseen the most successful five seasons in SDSU's athletic history with 32 team conference championships for the Aztecs since the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year and the fourth-highest combined winning percentage in the country in football and men's basketball. In addition, SDSU is one of only four schools nationally to have appeared in six consecutive NCAA tournaments and have its football team play in five straight bowl games. "This is a wonderful day for Mizzou and Tiger fans everywhere," Foley said. "Jim's leadership in intercollegiate athletics is unparalleled, and we are thrilled he is going to bring his talents, energy and passion for working with student-athletes to Columbia. He is just what Mizzou needs at this time." read more:http://mutigers.com/news/2016/8/9/mizzou-announces-jim-sterk-as-new-athletic-director.aspx
  12. The University of North Texas Board of Regents unanimously approved the hiring of Wren Baker as the school’s athletic director Friday. The man who spent the past 14 months as Missouri’s deputy athletic director and the past two weeks overseeing the department on an interim basis after the abrupt departure of Mack Rhoades to Baylor will be formally introduced in his new job during a press conference Monday morning. Baker took time Saturday morning to talk to the Tribune’s Steve Walentik about the decision to move to Denton, Texas, the timing with which it was made and some impressions of the program he’s leaving behind in Columbia. Here is a transcript of that conversation, edited for length and clarity. Q: Why was this a good opportunity for you? A: One, there’s only a finite number Division I, FBS AD jobs, and those are hard to get, and when you get that opportunity — kind of like a head-coaching opportunity — it’s something that you’ve really got to look at. And North Texas is one that I think is a really great opportunity, because they have a lot of the things that you need to be successful — all the things that you need. They’ve got great location. It’s an area that’s rich in talent for just about every sport. It’s in a city that’s a desirable location to live and to recruit to in Denton and the DFW Metroplex, and then for Heather and I, it really fits us just because it’s by far and away the closest that we’ve been to home, especially since we had our two kids. So to be 90 miles from her parents (in Calera, Okla.) and 150 miles from where I grew up (in Valliant, Okla.) was something that was important to us. Q: I wanted to ask you about the timing of things. North Texas officials have known they were going to need a new athletic director since late May, and Rick Villareal left officially in late June. How long had you been talking to them? How long was your name in the mix for this job? A: The timeline gets a little bit blurry just in terms of knowing the days and stuff. We had a baseball search and then Mack’s situation. When they selected a search firm, the search firm initially kind of reached out to me and said, “We’ve got this job. We still have to visit with them, find out a little bit more about the profile they’re looking for, but we think this is one that you would be a good candidate for.” I don’t remember the exact time. It was before our baseball search for sure. But it’s one of those things where I’ve gotten probably a couple of dozen of those calls over the past few years, so you’re not guaranteed the job. It’s just like, “Hey, we’re going to present them with 10-20 candidates. You might be one of those names we present. With your permission we’d like to do a little more work on this.” So that call came, and then probably maybe somewhere else along the way a few weeks later, maybe shortly before or shortly after the baseball search, they just said, “OK, we’ve defined more of the profile of the candidate that we’re looking for. We still feel like that you would be a really good fit. Would you be OK with us moving your candidacy forward?” At that point in time, I told them that I would, and then you just kind of play the waiting game. So I didn’t know anything more until probably four or five days after Mack’s announcement. I did tell the chancellor in our conversation that, “Hey, this could become an opportunity. There’s no defined timeline. I haven’t been promised a job. I haven’t been promised an interview. But this would be something — if it developed — that I’d want to take a look at.” I got the call a few days after Mack’s announcement and then came down a few days after that and interviewed in Dallas, and that led to them ultimately offering me the job. read more: http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu/baker-says-unt-showed-early-interest/article_d65e4853-4828-55df-aa81-612f4c16861b.html
  13. 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. 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."
  14. Most of these are from AD Departments throughout the country. Man is very liked and well respected in this business.
  15. Please post a gif or picture/video only response to your feelings about the Baker hire today.
  16. Stay tuned as I would expect we should hear something final on this shortly.
  17. According to Baker's Memphis bio, he has led 13 head coaching searches. Those searches resulted in coaches who have combined to win over 70% of their games. Not a bad percentage. source: http://ktgr.com/mack-rhoades-hires-wren-baker-as-deputy-athletic-director/
  18. Two weeks after its athletic director abruptly resigned, Missouri is set to lose its interim athletic director, Wren Baker, by the end of the week. Baker is the leading candidate for the vacant athletic director job at North Texas and is expected to be offered the position Friday when the school’s board of regents meets, a source told The Star. The University of North Texas System Boards of Regents has convened “a Special Called meeting by telephone” at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss “consideration of individual personnel matters related to the appointment of and an employment agreement with a UNT Athletic Director.” At that meeting, Baker is expected to be hired as Rick Villarreal’s successor. Villarreal stepped down in May after 15 seasons with the Mean Green, which included the construction of Apogee Stadium for $78 million in 2011. Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/sec/university-of-missouri/article92221477.html#storylink=cpy Baker was hired in May 2015 as Missouri’s deputy athletic director under Mack Rhoades, who resigned July 13 to accept the same post at Baylor. After Rhoades’ departure, MU interim chancellor Hank Foley made Baker interim athletic director despite the fact that Baker already had been contacted by a search firm representing North Texas about its opening, multiple sources told The Star. Baker’s anticipated departure will leave Missouri without an athletic director for the second time this month. Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/sec/university-of-missouri/article92221477.html#storylink=cpy Read more:. http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/sec/university-of-missouri/article92221477.html
  19. Dan Wolken | USA TODAY Sports43 minutes ago North Texas will hire Wren Baker as its athletics director, a person familiar with the process told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the school has not officially announced the hire. Read more:. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2016/07/27/north-texas-hires-missouri-wren-baker-new-athletic-director/87618550/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-vDhOhlrHF1_78JUKWlqaGw
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