USC hires Jennifer Cohen as its new athletic director

Jennifer Cohen comes to USC from the University of Washington, where she served as Washington's athletic director since 2016.

LOS ANGELES — On Monday, USC officially announced the hiring of Jennifer Cohen as its next athletic director.

Cohen comes to USC from the University of Washington, where she has worked since 1998. She has served as Washington’s athletic director since 2016.

At Washington, Cohen served as AD during the Huskies’ 2016 run to the College Football Playoff. More recently, she hired Kalen DeBoer, who led Washington to an 11-2 record in his debut season as the school’s head coach last fall.

Cohen replaces Mike Bohn, who resigned as USC’s athletic director in May. Bohn’s tenure at USC was extremely successful, marked by the landmark hire of Lincoln Riley as the school’s football coach and USC’s plan to join the Big Ten Conference next summer. However, Bohn’s tenure on campus came to a rocky conclusion, as he resigned following allegations of inappropriate conduct towards female employees and a toxic work environment.

“Jen has more than three decades of experience in athletics, and a reputation as a very seasoned, engaged, and steadfast leader,” USC president Carol Folt said of Cohen. “She’s passionated, she’s accomplished she’s an empathetic leader.”

“I can only imagine how excited you are going to be when you get to know her.”

“Leading USC Athletics is not just an opportunity of a lifetime, it is a responsibility of a lifetime,” Cohen said at her introductory press conference. “USC is all about developing people to be their best selves. There’s probably nowhere else in America that we can develop into our best selves more so than USC.”

“It’s a special place. It’s a special time. And as Dr. Folt mentioned, there is so much momentum to build on here.”

Cohen will officially start on the job Tuesday morning. On Saturday evening, she will be in attendance at the Coliseum when the Trojans open their 2023 football season against San Jose State.

“To our letter winners, to our coaches, our staff, our faculty, and everyone that loves the Trojans, I just can’t wait to meet you, I can’t wait to learn from you.” Cohen said. “I cannot wait to unite with you to make USC Athletics the gold standard in college sports.”