The Commercial Appeal

Memphis hires deputy AD for external affairs

- By Kyle Veazey veazey@commercial­

The University of Memphis has hired Wren Baker, the athletic director at Division 2 Northwest Missouri State, as its deputy athletic director for external affairs, it was announced Wednesday morning.

A news release said Baker would “have oversight of advancemen­t, developmen­t, stewardshi­p, event marketing, the athletic ticket office and Tigers Sports Properties.”

U of M athletic director Tom Bowen said Baker’s addition was part of a reorganiza­tion of the department’s staffing that he had planned when he arrived last June. The new position does not mean the departure of anyone currently on staff, he said.

“It’s part of a new leadership model,” Bowen said.

In a news release, Bowen said: “To have another sitting athletic director leave his chair to join our department is amazing. I know we are getting an administra­tor who has a level of experience which is unparallel­ed and unpreceden­ted.”

Baker has been the AD at the Maryville, Mo., school for two years. Before that, he was the first AD at Rogers State University, a NAIA school in Oklahoma. He has been a school principal and worked in the Oklahoma State basketball program from 2001 to 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree from Southeaste­rn Oklahoma State and a master’s from Oklahoma State.

On Twitter, Baker said: “Tom Bowen is one of the best in the biz. Humbled to have opportunit­y to work alongside and learn from him!”

The first piece of Bowen’s reorganiza­tion arrived in September, when he hired Stacy Martin from Kansas State for the newly created job of senior associate AD for finance and business operations.

Earlier this week, longtime associate AD Lynn Parkes announced her retirement after 38 years at Memphis.

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