University of Missouri Curator Daryl Chatman, left, and System President Mun Choi present new athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois with a jersey Wednesday after she was formally introduced at the Walsworth Family Columns Club. 20210811 033a Mu Athletic Director Reed Francois Press Conf

The Missouri Tigers are looking for a new athletic director after Desireé Reed-Francois left the school to take the same position with the Arizona Wildcats.

Reed-Francois was the first female athletic director in Missouri and SEC history.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel had the news first on Monday morning.

As Thamel notes, it’s a five-year deal with Arizona for Reed-Francois. Since being hired at Missouri in August 2021, both the football team and men’s basketball team have been successful, with a Cotton Bowl victory and NCAA Tournament appearance, respectively.

Reed-Francois’ departure seemed both sudden and out of nowhere. Ben Fredrickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provided additional context on the situation.

“There had been some low-key friction b/w Mizzou AD Desiree Reed-Francois and certain members of MU board of curators. Lots of university ‘oversight’ that suggested lack of united front, but didn’t think it was something that would lead to immediate departure. Comments should be something,” Frederickson said on his X account Monday morning.

Reed-Francois attended law school at the University of Arizona, which is likely part of the reason why she wasn’t hesitant to return there despite the school’s financial struggles in advance of its move to the Big 12.

It’s unclear who will replace Reed-Francois at Missouri, but SEC athletic director positions don’t open every day, so the school will likely have no shortage of candidates.

[Pete Thamel] [Ben Fredrickson] [Associated Press]