Deal To Generate In Excess Of $5 Million Over 10 Years
Wren Baker was named the University of North Texas Vice President and Director of Athletics on July 29, 2016. Baker is widely considered one of the brightest young athletics administrators in the nation. He wasted no time making an impact on the Mean Green and has spearheaded one of college athletics' most remarkable turnaround stories over the past two years.
The Mean Green recently completed the most successful fundraising year in school history, nearly doubling the previous record. During Baker's tenure the department unveiled a new 5-year strategic plan, developed a new master facilities plan, renovated seven athletics facilities, completed a reorganization of athletics staff, and negotiated a new multi-media rights contract among other initiatives.
Baker has proven himself to be a tactical recruiter when it comes to the critical task of hiring successful head coaches. During his career as an athletic director, he has led 15 head coach searches. Those searches resulted in coaches who have combined to win over 70% of their games.
The Fall 2017 sports seasons have been one for the record books with the Mean Green recording conference championships in volleyball, women's soccer and football (west division). UNT has also reached new heights in the classroom under Baker's leadership with a back-to-back department Graduation Success Rate records and 11 of 14 programs recording a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in 2016-17.
Baker boasts a proven track-record of success, having played a critical role in the development of athletics programs at the University of Memphis and the University of Missouri before coming to Denton.
Baker was hired as the Deputy Director of Athletics at Missouri in 2015 after serving in a similar role at Memphis from 2013-15. At Missouri he was responsible for assisting the athletic director with all aspects of administration, including head coaching searches in football and baseball. 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. He also served as the interim director of athletics at Mizzou before accepting a leadership position at UNT.
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. He was the athletic administrator for men's basketball and also worked closely with former head football coach Justin Fuente during a two-year run that included the Tigers' first conference championship in football in over four decades.
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. Under Baker, Northwest Missouri saw its revenues increase by 60 percent. At Northwest, Baker hired head football coach Adam Dorrel who led the Bearcats to three consecutive national championships.
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.
In 2005, he became principal and athletic director for Valliant Public Schools and, at age 26, was the youngest principal in Oklahoma history.
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 SOSU, he was a member of the Honor's Program and an Honor's Graduate. At Oklahoma State, Baker was operations assistant for the Cowboys' men's basketball program under legendary head coach Eddie Sutton. During Baker's time with the OSU Men's basketball program, the team recorded 102-30 record, reaching 4 NCAA tournaments and advancing to the 2004 Final Four and the 2005 Sweet Sixteen.
Baker and his wife Heather, a Bokchito, OK native, have two daughters, Addisyn and Reagan.