The University of North Texas has hired Wren Baker as director of athletics, the university announced Friday afternoon. Baker comes to North Texas from the University of Missouri, where he was deputy director of athletics and, most recently, interim director of athletics following the departure of athletic director Mack Rhoades, who took the AD position at Baylor.
Baker replaces Rick Villarreal, who stepped down as North Texas director of athletics in June of this year after 15 years with the Mean Green. Baker was on the UNT campus Friday and got a chance to meet the athletic department staff.
On Monday, Aug. 1, at 10 a.m., Baker will be formally introduced at a press conference which will be streamed live on MeanGreenSports.com. Baker’s first official day on the job at UNT will be Aug. 22.
From 2013 to 2015, Baker was deputy director of athletics/external affairs at the University of Memphis. During Baker’s tenure at Memphis, the Tigers secured the largest gift in the university’s history, set a school record for suite sales and multi-media rights revenue, and grew Memphis’ scholarship fund.
Originally from Valliant, Okla., Baker earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State in 2001 and his master’s degree in education leadership from Oklahoma State in 2003. At Oklahoma State, Baker was operations assistant for the Cowboys’ men’s basketball program.
After college, he became principal and athletic director for Valliant Public Schools and, at age 26, was the youngest principal in Oklahoma.
From 2006 to 2011, Baker was the first athletic director at Rogers State in Claremore, Okla., where he was also the first men’s basketball coach in school history. His team went 20-11 in its first season, after which Baker relinquished his coaching duties to concentrate on his administrative duties.
From 2011 to 2013, Baker was athletic director at Northwest Missouri State, where he secured the largest gift in the athletic department’s history – just as he would a short time later at Memphis. Under Baker, Northwest Missouri saw its revenues increase by 60 percent.
Baker and his wife Heather have two daughters, Addisyn and Reagan.