Southern California athletic director Mike Bohn, citing “ongoing health challenges,” resigned Friday, effective immediately.
Bohn, 62, has been in charge of Trojans athletics since November 2019 and made a splashy hire in football coach Lincoln Riley as well as guiding the university’s pending move to the Big Ten Conference in 2024 with rival UCLA.
“After more than 40 years of college athletics leadership, it is the right time to step away from my position as Director of Athletics at the University of Southern California,” Bohn said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “I have dedicated my life to serving student-athletes and advancing the enterprise of intercollegiate athletics. I will always be proud of leading the program out of the most tumultuous times in the history of the profession and at USC with a restored reputation and national milestone accomplishments.”
In his statement Friday, Bohn said “… it is important now that I focus on being present with my treasured family, addressing ongoing health challenges, and reflecting on how I can be impactful in the future.”
Bohn served in the same position at Idaho, San Diego State, Colorado and Cincinnati before taking over a USC department that had struggled through scandals and NCAA sanctions.
“Over the last four years, the USC athletics department has transformed into a national powerhouse,” USC President Carol Folt wrote in a letter to alumni and the school. “In our singular pursuit of excellence, I am committed to ensuring we have the right leadership in place to achieve our goals.
“As part of that commitment and as we prepare to move to the Big Ten, we conducted a thorough review of the athletics department, including its operations, culture, and strategy. Having built a strong foundation over the last few years, now is the time for new direction grounded in our values and in expertise needed to fulfill our aspirational vision for Trojan athletics.”
The Trojans will do so without Bohn, whose hiring of Riley away from the Oklahoma Sooners resulted in a team contending for a national title in his first season in Los Angeles.
The Trojans men’s basketball program under coach Andy Enfield and the women’s basketball team under coach Lindsay Gottlieb each made the NCAA Tournament last season.
“I led the process to join the Big 10 Conference, hired marquee Head Coaches, produced the highest graduation rate in school history and won numerous national and conference championships,” Bohn said in his statement. “As a former student-athlete myself, my purpose and identity are rooted in supporting young people as they pursue their athletic, academic, and personal goals. I have been fortunate to have had so many wonderful opportunities and met so many terrific people, and I depart wishing the very best to all with whom I worked and served.”