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NKU Athletic Director to Retire

Northern Kentucky University Vice President and Director of Athletics Ken Bothof announced this week that he is retiring, effective, June 30.

His departure concludes nine years at the helm of Norse athletics.

“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 a news release. “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!“  

Bothof was hired by Northern Kentucky in 2013 and assumed his role as A.D. that August. He inherited an athletic department transitioning from NCAA Division II to Division I status and guided the program into active DI membership in August 2016.  

Throughout the transition, Bothof reorganized marketing, communications, development and academic services areas within the department, the announcement said. Annual fundraising has risen more than five-fold, and a recent gift pushed Norse Athletics beyond its $8.5 million campaign goal. Men’s basketball season-ticket sales nearly tripled during Bothof’s tenure. Facility improvements included new turf installations for soccer, baseball and softball, as well as rebranding in BB&T Arena, NKU Soccer Stadium, Regents Hall, and Albright Health Center. 

Bothof also negotiated partnerships with Adidas as Northern Kentucky Athletics’ apparel provider and St. Elizabeth Healthcare to increase the sports medicine services provided to Norse student-athletes. 

Highlights in the athletics department during Bothof's tenure include men's basketball Horizon League tournament and regular season titles and appearances in the NCAA Tournament and NIT, a conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance in women's soccer, and a women's conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance for the women's volleyball team.

Men’s golfer Jacob Poore became the first Norse individual to qualify for an NCAA appearance in 2018. 

Prior to NKU, Bothof led the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Athletics Department for 11 years. 

Northern Kentucky University will conduct a national search for its next athletic director.  

-Staff report