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  1. https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports/former-unt-athletic-director-excited-for-new-opportunity-with-west-virginia/3295464/
  2. Humble beginnings breed fierce competitors. Former University of North Texas AD Wren Baker is in Morgantown and prepared to get to work. Baker brings wife Heather and daughters Addisyn and Reagan to the Mountain State en route to becoming West Virginia University's 13th Director of Athletics. His stay in North Texas began in 2016, but prior to entering college athletics administration, Baker was working as a high school principal in rural Oklahoma. At 26 years old, Baker was tasked with organizing teachers, students, conduct, and budgeting, all aspects of his admin history that cross over nicely into Power-5 higher ed. When he got out of secondary education administration, Baker's first stop was at Rogers State University, where he became the first men's basketball coach in the school’s history. After that, he was the director of athletics for Northwest Missouri State, and served as deputy director of athletics at the University of Memphis and the University of Missouri. Baker then became the University of North Texas Vice President and Director of Athletics in 2016. He saw seven different UNT teams combine to win 17 conference or division championships, his new coaching hires have combined to win nearly 70 percent of their games, and his fundraising produced the five largest gifts in UNT history and a doubling of the school's single-year fundraising record. Baker's impact also manifested in overall attendance boosts for North Texas' football (71 percent) and women's basketball (60+ percent) programs. Baker was selected away from the Mean Green ahead of 7-8 other applicants, WVU president E. Gordon Gee said. Talent appraisal company Turnkey ZRG assisted in the application process, and Gee gave the company a nod of approval. "When we interviewed Wren, I can tell you he fits every one of our criteria and in addition to being an exceptionally talented athletic director, he's also a very positive person who easily connects and engages with everyone that he meets," Gee said. He understands our mission; he knows where we want to go, and I have no doubt that he will get us there. read more: https://www.si.com/college/westvirginia/football/wren-bakers-journey-to-west-virginia
  3. This guy is a smooth operator. He got a 300K raise, moved to a better conference and he never even had to hire a football coach? The truth is, he left us in a mess with Littrell as he didn't get that situation dealt with in a timely fashion one way or another. Now poor Jared or whomever takes over the gig will have to clean up the mess. Also, what about Jalie, the golf coach and many other issues that stay behind? I agree that Wren did a good job in some areas like getting us into the AAC and hiring McCasland, but some of you are acting like he was Jesus Christ and I just don't see it that way myself. He could have dealt with some of these issues and made the move to WVU in a week or so.
  4. West Virginia has named Wren Baker as its new athletic director, the school announced on Wednesday. Baker was the athletic director at North Texas and has emerged as one of the most respected young administrators in college sports since arriving there in 2016. Sources told ESPN that Baker agreed to a six-year deal to lead the Mountaineers' athletic department. Baker oversaw North Texas' impending transition to the American Athletic Conference from Conference USA and helped build North Texas' facilities to some of the best at the Group of 5 level. During Baker's tenure there, North Texas has reached the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament and gone to bowl games in six of the past seven seasons. North Texas (7-5) plays at UTSA this weekend in the Conference USA football championship game. Baker's hires at North Texas include men's basketball coach Grant McCasland, who has either won the regular season or league tournament in Conference USA the last three years. For Baker, the appeal of the West Virginia job is the opportunity to lead a Big 12 program. He's a graduate of Oklahoma State, where he served as a graduate assistant coach for Eddie Sutton. Baker has been choosy about his next step over the years, and has remained at North Texas in part because of that school's aggressiveness to keep him. Baker's latest known salary is just under $800,000 per year, which puts him among the highest-paid athletic directions in the Group of 5. His compensation from West Virginia isn't known yet. read more: https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/35146223/west-virginia-expected-hire-wren-baker-ad-sources-say
  5. DENTON, Texas – UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker has announced promotions for Jessie Gardner and Alic’a Oliver as well as the addition of veteran administrator Stephanie McDonald to the department’s staff. “I am excited to announce these changes to our department staff,” Baker said. “Jessie and Alic’a have shown themselves to be integral to our department and I look forward to seeing their impact in their new roles. We’re also fortunate to have Stephanie joining our department. She brings a wealth of experience from roles in athletics and on campus which we will benefit from.” Gardner has been promoted into a new role as Executive Senior Associate AD/Senior Woman Administrator. She previously joined the UNT staff in September 2021 as Senior Associate AD for Leadership and Culture Development following a seven-plus year stint at Alabama. After serving for the last 18 months as Associate AD for Compliance, Oliver has been elevated to Senior Associate AD for Compliance and DEI. She has been on staff with the Mean Green since 2018 and also spent time in compliance at Tennessee and LSU. McDonald joins the UNT Athletics staff in a new position of Senior Associate AD for Administration. With more than 25 years of higher education experience, she most recently served as UNT’s Interim Associate VP for Administrative Services on campus. McDonald also held positions in college athletics for nearly 20 years including her final post as Southland Conference Associate Commissioner from 2007-17.
  6. North Texas Athletic Director Wren Baker rejoins Harry to discuss the state of the North Texas Union and answer key questions pertaining to coaching hires, realignment, NIL, budgets, the new AAC conference, baseball, recruiting, fan questions and more. https://traffic.libsyn.com/gomeangreen/ringr_180320_182584.mono1.mp3
  7. We are very pleased to welcome back North Texas AD Wren Baker for our summer edition of the podcast. Wren has graciously accepted to spend an hour with us and we are grateful for his time. There is so much to talk about with the realignment, NIL, the new AAC conference, capital projects and many other topics of interest. The podcast should be up for listening this Thursday night (7/14) and we will post links here and on our social media. As always, we welcome your questions for Wren and feel free to list them here in this thread. We will try to cover as many as we can but likely will do a part II later on and use the rest of them then. Thanks again to Wren for taking the time and as always, Go Mean Green!
  8. Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, has partnered with the University of North Texas to design, manufacture and install a new LED video display and audio system at Lovelace Stadium in Denton, Texas. The system was installed early in 2022 and is currently enhancing the game-day experience for the Mean Green. “We are always pleased to work with Daktronics on projects like this, and the new video board at Lovelace Stadium surpassed our expectations in its first season,” UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker said. “The addition of the video board added tremendously to our fan and student-athlete experience this year, and we look forward to continuing to invest in our softball facilities in the future.” read more: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2022/07/10/improved-audiovisual-experience-delivered-to-north-texas-softball-from-daktronics/
  9. We all know the current situation Seth Littrell and the UNT Football team are in, currently sitting at 1-6 the Mean Green would have to win out to qualify for a bowl game. This puts UNT in a weird position, because Littrell's big contract, firing him means a 2 million dollar buyout. With a looming conference change, UNT is probably wanting a fresh start. Down below I've listed 3 strong candidates that UNT should go after to replace Littrell, to start the American Conference era on the right foot. Doc Hudson The Hudson Hornet knows one or two things about winning. Doc won the Piston Cup three times in his lengthy Racing Career, he also holds the most wins in a single season (16). My favorite thing about Doc is his leadership ability, in Lighting McQueen's 2015 final race for the Piston Cup he put together a group of cars with no experience. They almost won but McQueen opted for sportsmanship over winning the big race. Doc can bring a winning attitude to the athletic department and the Mean Green football team. His track record is flawless and reminds me a lot of Tom Landry. Jon Gruden I know you are probably thinking "why would we want a guy facing so many allegations" well two words.... Super Bowl. Imagine the next person to coach the Mean Green has won a Super Bowl. Bringing a NFL level coach to the American conference would give UNT such a great advantage. Gruden probably has no interest from any NFL or D1 athletic program, so this is our time to pounce. People will forget about what happened in the past month with Gruden by the time the season finishes. Ride Littrell out for the rest of the season then snag Gruden. George Dunham Former Mean Green play by play voice for 20 years and morning show host at the Ticket needs to make a change from the brodcast booth to down on the field. Dunham screams UNT, donors would have no problem paying him a contract like Littrell. The one thing that separates Dunham from the other two candidates on this post is his ability to keep a listener. With that ability he could change the culture and gravitate the players towards him. Dunham is a no brainer for this job.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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/
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. read more: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/for-kansas-football-to-succeed-its-next-coach-must-be-able-to-afford-to-fail/
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. 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
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