USC athletic director Mike Bohn might still be celebrating nearly four months later after landing the biggest hire of the college coaching carousel in bringing Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC. On Tuesday, that feat likely played something of a role in another reason for him to celebrate. Bohn was named a 2021-22 Football Bowl Subdivision Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Bringing in Riley might always be the first bullet point when it comes to Bohn’s tenure with the Trojans. But it’s far from the only positive impact he’s made on USC’s athletics programs. Upon his arrival, he’s consistently stated that he wants USC to have the most student-athlete centered programs in the nation.
“Whenever a leader is recognized, it is a reflection of the entire organization and the dedicated people within it,” Bohn said in a statement released by the school. “It is a blessing to be on a team at USC that has made incredible impact and enacted meaningful change during the most transformative period in the history of college athletics. Each day I am inspired by the efforts of our coaches and staff to build a student-athlete centered program that garners national respect and fulfills our vision and mission as an athletics program. Receiving the 2021-22 Cushman & Wakefield Athletics Director of the Year Award, and joining this elite group of fellow winners and past recipients, is a special honor that I will cherish forever. I am extremely appreciative of the Trojan Family for their passionate support, and I am very thankful to President Carol Folt and Chairman Rick Caruso for giving me the privilege of leading USC’s athletics program.”
Bohn’s achievements in 2021
USC won three team championships in 2021, women’s track and field, women’s water polo and beach volleyball. No school won more than USC’s three. Six other USC teams finished among the top 10 programs in their respective sports. USC finished sixth in the Directors Cup, with the Women of Troy finishing second in the Capital One Cup.
Off the field, USC’s student-athletes posted the Trojans’ highest-ever NCAA Graduation Success Rate at 92%.
Bohn also restructured USC Athletics in several ways. The Trojans’ transitioned student-athlete healthcare to Keck Medicine of USC and directed resources toward building the largest sports psychology staff in the nation. According to USC, development, marketing, communications, social media, graphics and design departments have all seen enhancements and positive change under Bohn’s leadership.
“Mike is transforming the culture of USC Athletics in so many ways, and I want to congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition,” USC President Carol L. Folt said in the same statement from USC. “Putting students first and caring about their development on and off the field is Mike’s primary focus, and we are already seeing the positive impact of that strategy across the breadth of Trojan Athletics. Much progress has been made, but the best is yet to come.”
It is the first time a USC AD has been honored with this award. Bohn was one of four athletics directors selected among Football Bowl Subdivision schools, joining Boo Corrigan of North Carolina State, John Currie of Wake Forest and Hunter Yurachek of Arkansas. This award was created in 1998-99.