West Virginia expected to tab Baker as new Athletic Director
Wren Baker is expected to be named the new athletic director at West Virginia.
Pete Thamel of ESPN and Ross Dellenger of SI have reported the news, while WVSports.com has independently confirmed it.
Baker has served as the Vice President/Director of Athletics at North Texas since 2016 and has had tremendous success in his role with the Mean Green.
A total of seven programs have won 17 championships under Baker and he helped to guide North Texas into the American Athletic Conference.
Excelling at fundraising, Baker has led record years at four different universities. During his time at North Texas, Baker has registered the four best fundraising years in its history while securing 12 of the 20 largest gifts in athletics department history. The school set a record for fundraising in a single year under Baker, nearly doubling the previous department record.
Baker also increased ticket revenue by 125% and that includes a 71% increase in football and more than 60% in both men’s and women’s basketball.
During his career as an athletic director, he has led 16 head coach searches. Those searches have resulted in coaches who have combined to win approximately 70% of their games.
Baker previously served as the Deputy Director of Athletics at Missouri where he also served as interim athletic director. He also led the best fundraising year ever during his time at Memphis. From 2011 to 2013, Baker was athletic director at NCAA Division II power Northwest Missouri State, where he secured the largest gift in the athletic department's history for improvements to Bearcat football stadium.
The hire comes just 16-days after the Mountaineers and former Director of Athletics Shane Lyons agreed to part ways after eight years on the job.
The University retained outside legal counsel and the search firm Turnkey ZRG to assist in hiring a new athletic director and ultimately met what was considered an aggressive timeline of three to four weeks in filling the role with a qualified candidate.
Lyons will be paid $2.1 million through 2024 as part of the separation between the two. During the search to permanently fill the job Rob Alsop filled served as the interim athletic director.
Baker is an Oklahoma native and earned his bachelor's degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State in 2001. He secured his master’s from Oklahoma State.
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