Mike Bohn out as Colorado athletic director; Two names to watch

Mike Bohn out as Colorado athletic director; Two names to watch

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ike Bohn is out as Colorado’s athletic director.

Mike Bohn (right) hired and fired Jon Embree in less than a 24-month span.

Mike Bohn (right) hired and fired Jon Embree in less than a 24-month span.

The story was first reported by 850 KOA’s Mark Johnson and later confirmed by multiple media outlets. Colorado spokesman Bronson Hilliard told the Denver Post that Bohn had resigned, but Vic Lombardi of CBS Denver said that Bohn was forced out.

Lombardi tweeted that Bohn had texted him “I am floored.”

“Mike Bohn led CU-Boulder athletics in a time of great transition and change,” Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano said in a statement. “We are grateful to him for his vision, passion and commitment, and for his key role in revitalizing men’s and women’s basketball, helping us to join the Pac-12 Conference, and in taking important steps to upgrade athletic facilities at CU-Boulder. We wish him well.”

Bohn was hired by Colorado in April 2005 after previous stints at San Diego State and Idaho. Two years into his original five-year deal, Bohn was given a five-year extension through the 2011-12 academic year. In August 2011, his contract was extended again into 2016.

His resignation is effective June 3.

Bohn hired men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle, who has completely turned around the fortunes of that program. Boyle has guided the Buffs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, and in just three years has nearly equaled the school’s all-time number of 20-win seasons.

But his moves in football have not proven nearly as adept.

In his first year on the job, Bohn fired head coach Gary Barnett after the team ended the season on a three-game losing streak, including a 70-3 drubbing at the hands of Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. He struck out with the hirings of Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree, and the football program has suffered seven consecutive losing seasons under his watch.

The Embree hiring and subsequent firing proved to be a watershed moment.

Strapped for cash as a result of the hefty exit fee from the Big 12 and Hawkins’ contract buyout, Colorado couldn’t afford to hire an experienced coach in 2010. Embree, a former Colorado player who was Washington Redskins’ tight ends coach, was hired in December 2010, despite having no previous head coaching experience.

After just two seasons on the job, Embree was fired at a painful and emotional press conference last November. The Buffs went just 4-21 during his tenure.

In December, Bohn named Mike MacIntyre, who orchestrated a quick turnaround at San Jose State, as Embree’s replacement. The Spartans went 1-12 in 2010, MacIntyre’s first season, but just two years later finished 10-2.

Possible names to watch as Bohn’s replacement include current Memphis A.D. Tom Bowen and Texas Rangers’ president Rick George.

Bowen is a Denver native and hired MacIntyre at San Jose State. The two remain close.

George, a four-year starter at Illinois, was Colorado’s assistant A.D. for football operations from 1987-91, the most successful period in the school’s history.

Photo credit: David Zalubowski / AP

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