New athletic director celebrates ‘a new day in NKU athletics’ with Chamber of Commerce

It may only have been his second official day, but Northern Kentucky University’s new Director of Athletics Ken Bothof wasted no time sitting around the office.

Bothof spent this morning alongside NKU President Geoffrey Mearns, several university athletic coaches, a dozen or so student athletes and some top local business leaders as a part of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs ‘N Issues event.

This morning’s breakfast event, “Eggs ‘N Issues: A New Day in NKU Athletics”, seemed to be a celebration of exactly what the title implies– the kick-off to a new phase in the university’s athletics, under the reigns of its newly appointed director (following a rough period of scandal under the leadership of former NKU Athletic Director Scott Eaton).

The event was held at Receptions Banquet & Conference Center from 7:30- 9 a.m. in which time Bothof updated the audience about his current plans as athletic director.

“President Mearns has already charged me with setting the goals for the course of our future,” Bothof said. “And I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for a bold new course for our future.”

Bothof went on to say that big changes could happen, with a little help from the community.

“Whether you already have strong ties to the Norse athletics program, or whether you’ve never been to an athletic event, my message to you is really going to be the same. With your help, big things will come!”

Bothof also addressed the new method he will use when planning NKU’s athletic future.

“We will make decisions with three official, distinct questions in mind: How does this benefit our student athletes and coaches? How does this advance the university and its vision and its mission? And how does this help advance our relationships in the community?”

Mearns preceded Bothof’s comments with remarks supporting the importance of athletics in the university.

“There are lots of good things going at NKU, so if you may be wondering why we chose to speak about athletics… It’s because it is part of what is driving the university forward. It is an important part of the educational experience,” Mearns said. “Those of you who have children who have been involved in [the program] know that athletics teaches important skills, the importance of courage, the importance of persistence.”

Some student athletes who are learning these things firsthand also presented at the event.

Two members of the NKU men and women’s basketball teams, Chad Jackson and Rianna Gayheart, took to the podium to ask the audience for their support.

Gayheart also informed the audience about the free vouchers that they received to a NKU basketball game, as a gift for coming to the event.

The more casual setting earlier on in the event allowed the participating members of NKU Athletics to network and mingle with the audience, including the local business leaders.

The room featured snazzy promo videos of several NKU student athletes with the selected sound of Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black and Yellow” playing in the background.

Video footage of NKU’s own version of the Harlem Shake played on projector screens during this time. Recorded during a basketball game last spring, the video displays President Mearns, his son, Student Government President Erik Pederson and countless other members of the NKU community showing support for NKU athletics.

The videos and music helped bolster NKU Athletics’ brand to many of the event’s attendees.

Overall, the entire event focused on embracing the positive changes to come for NKU Athletics.

“In the coming years I would venture to say that everyone in this room will see in some subtle ways, and probably some not so subtle ways, the new NKU Athletics,” Bothof said.

Eggs ‘N Issues is a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce event aimed at informing its members of different programs, issues, initiatives and businesses in the area. Enquirer Media is a key sponsor of the program.

Look for more information on NKU Athletics, its “Go Gold” campaign and more information on Bothof in this semester’s first print edition of The Northerner on Aug. 22.