West Virginia University has decided on its new director of athletics.
Wren Baker, former vice president and director of Athletics at North Texas for six years, has been named the school’s next athletic director, per reporting from Sports Illustrated and ESPN.
WVU confirmed the hiring of Baker as the news athletic director Wednesday afternoon.
Baker takes over the position at WVU on Dec. 19 under a six-year contract through Dec. 31, 2028.
He will receive an annual salary of $1.1 million, plus incentives, according to the University.
“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.”
According to WVU Athletics, Baker will oversee 18 varsity sports, a department budget of more than $90 million, roughly 250 employees and nearly 500 student-athletes.
In past years, Baker has led record fundraising efforts at multiple universities, including his work with UNT, Memphis and Missouri.
He also earned about $800,000 per year as one of the Group of 5’s highest paid athletic directors, according to Sports Illustrated.
Baker is taking the position following the departure of WVU’s former athletic director Shane Lyons on Nov. 14.
Lyons is now the deputy athletic director at Alabama.
Earlier this month, President E. Gordon Gee said the next athletic director would decide on the future of Neal Brown’s coaching career at WVU.
“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,” 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.”
School administrators approved a contract extension for Brown just two years ago with a current buyout of roughly $16 million.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is made available.