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Official: West Virginia University Hires Wren Baker as New Director of Athletics

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WVU at Virginia Tech on Sept. 22, 2022. (Mitchell Northam / WV Sports Now)

On Wednesday afternoon, West Virginia University made it official that Wren Baker will become the new Director of Athletics. Baker has served six years as the North Texas AD. Baker will become the university’s 13th AD in school history.

“I am incredibly grateful to President Gee, Rob Alsop, the search committee and Board of Governors for the opportunity to serve as vice president and director of athletics at West Virginia University,” Baker said. “WVU boasts a powerful brand reputation and a storied academic and athletic history. My family and I can’t wait to get to Morgantown to build relationships and help take Mountaineer Athletics to even greater heights.”

Baker will also serve as the Vice President for West Virginia University.

“I am thrilled to welcome Wren Baker to the West Virginia University family as our new athletic director and I have no doubt his personality and energy will connect with our student-athletes and coaches, as well as our campus community and alumni,” WVU President E. Gordon Gee said in a press release.

Baker is 44-years-old and is a native of Oklahoma. The University is expected to formally announce the hiring this week.

Baker played a vital role in helping get UNT into the American Athletic Conference during the next realignment period. WVU Interim AD Rob Alsop wanted the next athletic director to be in with the new times. West Virginia University hired the same search firm that the Big 12 Conference had to hire Brett Yormark. It’s about finding someone who can lead the university in the new era of college athletics.

“When we began this search, we were determined to find someone who could lead in the modern realities of intercollegiate athletics and build on the legacy of his predecessors,” Gee said. “We wanted someone who clearly understood the dynamics of a fast-changing athletics environment and had found success being at the forefront of this new world that includes managing NIL and the portal. We looked at a number of well-qualified candidates and, at the end of the day, Wren met every one of our needs.”

The hire comes after former WVU AD Shane Lyons was dismissed in mid-November. Lyons was hired to return to Alabama as deputy athletics director and chief operating officer. Baker will come into a situation where he will decide whether to keep WVU head football coach Neal Brown or not. Reports say it seems that Brown will return for 2023.

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