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BREAKING: Wren Baker resigns, takes athletic director role at West Virginia

BREAKING: Wren Baker resigns, takes athletic director role at West Virginia

BREAKING: Wren Baker resigns, takes athletic director role at West Virginia
November 30
14:27 2022

This story has been updated with additional information 

The university announced Wednesday morning athletic director and vice president of athletics Wren Baker resigned.

Shortly following his resignation from North Texas, West Virginia University announced Baker would be its next vice president and director of Intercollegiate athletics. In a statement released at 1:13 p.m., President Neal Smatresk said the following:

“After serving UNT the past six years as Vice President and Director of Athletics, Wren Baker is leaving UNT for an incredible opportunity in West Virginia. While we are sad to see him go, this is a great move for Wren and his family, and it speaks volumes for his success here at UNT. It has been my pleasure to work with Wren, and I have appreciated his dedication to our athletics program. During this time, our athletics program has experienced record-setting success in virtually every area, including student academic performance, fundraising, overall conference records, and championships. With solid infrastructure in place and a staff of great administrators and coaches, we are well positioned to continue our success. We will continue to cheer on our favorite Mean Green teams, and I know our upward momentum will only continue. We will begin our search soon, and I anticipate that we will attract a strong pool of candidates who can continue our remarkable upward trajectory as we transition into The American.”

Following Smatresk’s statement, Baker posted “Mean Green Nation, we’re so grateful for each of you. Love you all more than you know. Thank you for welcoming us over six years ago! No doubt, great things are ahead for the Mean Green!” on Twitter. A formal statement was attached to the tweet that read:

“It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are for the University of North Texas and the Denton community. It has been an incredible honor to serve our student-athletes and contribute to their growth and success. Our family has loved being a part of this community and will forever cherish the many memories and friendships we have formed here. The passion of our fans and personal investment of our donors are a big part of what makes North Texas so special. I am especially grateful to President Smatresk for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead UNT Athletics and learn from his mentorship. I am proud of our outstanding coaches and staff and thankful for all they have given to elevate our programs. I have no doubt the Mean Green athletic programs are in great hands and will continue to soar to even greater heights. North Texas, We Love.”
Baker was appointed the athletic director on July 29, 2016 and saw seven athletic programs at the university win 17 conference titles, both division and overall, in his tenure. Baker hired head men’s basketball coach Grant McCasland in 2017, which directly led to the program’s first victory in the NCAA men’s division I basketball championship tournament in 2020. He additionally hired head softball coach Rodney DeLong in 2018, whose team is coming off its first NCAA regional round appearance.

The resignation comes amid football playing in its first Conference USA title game since 2017 this Friday. In 2021, Baker along with Smatresk moved the athletic program to the American Athletic Conference, which it will start play in next year. 

Image Source: UNT Office of the President

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

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