UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker joined the Higher Ed Athletics podcast to discuss the 20-year Light the Tower athletic facilities master plan for the Mean Green and to share lessons learned from his career experiences. Baker become an administrator at the age of 26 as both a principal and athletic director for Valliant Public Schools in Oklahoma. He went on to lead an upstart athletic department at then-NAIA institution Rogers State before moving on to be an athletic director at NCAA D2 power house Northwest Missouri State. Wren then held senior-level administrator positions at both Memphis and Missouri before arriving at North Texas. Baker is known for his ability to fundraise and the authenticity in this interview will help the audience understand why.
SPECIAL ISSUE Call for Proposals: The Sports Innovation Journal, published by the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute, is seeking commentary and empirical research submissions for a special issue on the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics and the NCAA governance model.
The questions/topics show as chapters in the video above and separately linked with timestamp below:
- 0:18 UNT Institutional Profile
- 3:07 Athletic Department Profile
- 4:55 Light the Tower Athletic Facilities Master Plan
- 8:15 Custom Domains for Important Projects
- 10:08 Early Career Background
- 12:38 Lessons Learned as Becoming Administrator at Age 26
- 17:13 1st Ever AD at Rogers State
- 20:43 Does the Division Matter for Job Prospects?
- 24:25 Location Priorities for Career Decisions
- 28:25 Hiring & Evaluating Coaches
- 34:15 Becoming a Good Fundraiser
- 39:55 Corporate Sponsorship Patches on Uniforms