The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Breaking: NKU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ken Bothof will retire June 30

Bothof has been Director of Athletics since August 2013

January 5, 2022


Colin Johnson

NKU President Ken Bothof gives his remarks during the press conference for the welcoming of the new Men’s Basketball Head Coach Darrin Horn.

NKU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ken Bothof will retire effective June 30, 2022, a press release from NKU Athletics announced on Wednesday morning.

Bothof’s retirement will conclude a nine-year period of leading NKU Athletics, which began in 2013. Bothof successfully guided the NKU Athletic program into active Division-I membership in 2016 following the transition from Division-II.

“I’m very grateful that my 35-year career in college athletics provided me the opportunity to interact with so many outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff. I’m thankful for the numerous achievements we’ve collectively attained,” Bothof said in the press release.

During his time at NKU, Bothof helped with the reorganization of marketing, communications, development and academic services, as well as continued to grow annual fundraising for the Athletics department.

In addition to facility improvements around campus, including to BB&T Arena, NKU Soccer Stadium and Regents Hall, Bothof also negotiated a partnership with Adidas as the official apparel provider and St. Elizabeth Healthcare to increase the sports medicine services offered to student-athletes at NKU.

During Bothof’s tenure, and almost immediately after the transition to Division-I became official, the Norse began to win championships. The NKU men’s basketball team captured three Horizon League Tournament championships in 2017, 2019 and 2020, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in the process. Additionally, NKU women’s soccer earned their first Division-I NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016, NKU volleyball advanced to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, and men’s golfer Jacob Poore became the first Norse golfer to qualify for an NCAA appearance in 2018.

NKU student-athletes also saw tremendous growth in the classroom with Bothof as Director of Athletics, as NKU Athletics has posted a collective GPA of at least 3.20 in 14 consecutive semesters, and an eight-year streak with a GPA of 3.37. 

“I’m proud of our accomplishments at NKU over the past eight-plus years, developing Norse Athletics into a strong DI program. NKU has tremendous potential and the necessary alignment with the university, athletics administration and the Northern Kentucky community to continue future improvements and success!”

Prior to leading the NKU Athletics department, Bothof led the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Athletic Department for 11 years. During his time there, UW-Green Bay experienced a lot of success, particularly women’s basketball, while the university was also able to complete a $10 million fundraising campaign and construction for the Kress Events Center, which includes a 4,000-seat arena and a basketball practice facility. 

During his 20 years as Director of Athletics at two schools, Bothof’s team have amassed 15 regular-season championships, 17 league tournament championships and 18 NCAA Tournament participants.

Northern Kentucky University announced in the press release that they will be conducting a national search for its next Athletic Director.

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