SBD/May 29, 2013/Colleges

Mike Bohn Out As Univ. Of Colorado AD; "Blindsided" By School's Decison

Bohn notably led Colorado's transition from the Big 12 to the Pac-12
Univ. of Colorado AD Mike Bohn was "blindsided by Chancellor Phil DiStefano when he was called to DiStefano's office Thursday for an impromptu meeting in which he was informed the school was firing him," according to sources cited by Kyle Ringo of the Boulder DAILY CAMERA. DiStefano "handed Bohn a letter notifying him of the decision." It said, in part, that Bohn had "materially failed" in his duties. However, the school yesterday issued a press release saying that it had "accepted Bohn's resignation and mentioned nothing about firing him." While the school has "given no specific reason for the breakup with Bohn, the well-documented struggles of the football program, continued athletic department financial problems, little progress in fundraising and conflicting leadership styles with his bosses are believed to be the core issues that led to Bohn being forced out." Both sides are "finalizing details of a separation agreement that will pay Bohn more than $900,000 for the final three years of his contract, which runs into 2017." Sources said that there were "no violations of university policies, NCAA rules violations or unethical conduct of any kind that led to Bohn's departure." DiStefano last night named CU Associate AD/Student Services and Senior Woman Administrator Ceal Barry interim AD, making her the "first woman to serve" in the role in CU history. Barry is "expected to be a candidate" to become the full-time AD "if she has interest in the job." The CU football program "reached its lowest point in the modern era last season being led by a man Bohn hired," but he "enjoyed many successes during his tenure." His "biggest success was leading the school in its conference switch" from the Big-12 to the Pac-12 in '10. CU will "form a search committee to hunt for Bohn's successor" (, 5/28).

COLORADO HOT SPRINGS: In Denver, Anthony Cotton in a front-page piece reports there were "indications of simmering tensions between Bohn and university officials." Bohn in April '12 said that the athletic department would "announce a major, 'transformational' upgrade to its facilities in the fall." That was before CU said that it would "conduct feasibility studies to look at the possibility of improvements to facilities such as Folsom Field." It was not "until February that the school officially committed" to a $170M proposal for the work (DENVER POST, 5/29). YAHOO SPORTS' Graham Watson wrote, "The 'resignation' comes at a strange time given the fact that Bohn was just awarded a five-year contract extension in 2011." He also was "allowed to hire his third football coach" in Mike MacIntyre and "announced facility upgrades that were key" in luring MacIntyre. However, raising money for those facility upgrades "may have been the problem" (, 5/28). In Denver, Mark Kiszla writes, "In a business where a scoreboard is a stark declaration of success or failure, it seemed to me Bohn was always too concerned about what people thought of him." Bohn "constantly tried to sell the notion CU was on the verge of something big, and never quite delivered." It is "way past time for CU to find an athletic director who can actually afford the skyrocketing cost of living successfully in the Pac-12" (DENVER POST, 5/29).
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