Athletic director’s first year spent meeting his department

Exciting is the word Ken Bothof, director of athletics, uses to describe his first year at NKU.

Bothof was hired on June 26, 2013 as NKU’s Athletic Director, replacing Mike Cusack, after spending 11 years as Athletic Director at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

“The excitement of the continued progress of the university,” Bothof said. “When those things are happening on a campus, it allows us to recruit better, committed student-athletes.”

The reclassification into Division I can be felt within the athletic department as well.

“The move to Division I has created an exciting environment in our athletic department,” Bothof said.

Bothof says that his biggest priority in his first year was to meet as many people as possible and to get to know the department, the athletes and the university.

“Building those relationships were a big accomplishment,” Bothof said.

During Bothof’s first year, the athletic department staff was reorganized, using an evaluation process of the current staff and identifying the needs of the department.

Over the summer, the department created two new positions, senior associate athletic director of business and finance, as well as an associate athletic director of communication and media services.

There was also reorganization in the sports information department.

The department is also “putting the final touches” on a strategic plan for the department, according to Bothof.

“It [the strategic plan] will tie to the university strategic plan,” Bothof said. “But, it will also set the course for our future and success in Division I.”

In the coming year, Norse fans will be able to look forward to a new website, courtesy of the Atlantic Sun conference, as well as increased exposure on the national level. According to Bothof, many NKU games will be shown on ESPN3, among other networks.

As for the current state of the athletic department, Bothof says it’s in good shape.

“I think we’ve gone through the toughest year in transition [into Division 1],” said Bothof. “We’ve put some things in place to change the culture in moving to Division I.”