NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Tulane at Southern California

USC hired Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen to the same position, the university announced on Monday. Cohen has been the athletic director at UW since 2016 and is a Pac-12 representative on the College Football Playoff committee. Cohen replaces Mike Bohn, who retired in May, 

Cohen has deep West Coast roots and spent most of her career in Washington. After brief stops at Pacific Lutheran, University of Puget Sound and Texas Tech, Cohen joined Washington's athletic department in 1998 as assistant director of development. She worked her way up through the UW fundraising world before ultimately earning the top job. 

"I have long admired the Trojan spirit and USC community's commitment to always Fight On with integrity and absolute dedication in pursuit of excellence both on and off the field," Cohen said in a statement. "It is the honor of a lifetime to come back to Southern California to serve as USC's director of athletics and officially join the Trojan family." 

Under Cohen's watch, Washington football has played at a nationally relevant level with a 58-25 record in seven seasons. Cohen's recent hire, Kalen DeBoer, immediately led the Huskies from 4-8 to 11-2 in 2022 before signing a contract extension through 2028. The Huskies are ranked No. 10 in the Preseason AP Top 25

Now, Cohen enters a USC athletic department facing a critical moment. Bohn retired citing health issues, but the Los Angeles Times reported that he resigned under pressure after allegations arose of a hostile work environment and inappropriate behavior with female employees. Cohen ranks as the Pac-12's only full-time female athletic director, a role she will continue at USC. 

"When we were outlining the criteria for our next director of athletics, we set a high bar," USC president Carol Folt said in a statement. "We had a long list of top candidates who wanted to come to USC and win on the biggest stage. Jen Cohen really stood out for her experience, her dedication to students and their success and her known strengths as a team builder. She is a fierce competitor who shares with all Trojans a determination to win the right way. I'm confident she'll lead a culture of integrity, teamwork and commitment to success." 

Additionally, Cohen will now be responsible for overseeing USC as the program transitions to the Big Ten in 2024. She also will have one of the most important jobs in the country: Build a winner around football coach Lincoln Riley, who joined USC after signing a contract rumored to be worth more than $100 million to lead the program back to relevance. 

Cohen was elevated to the College Football Playoff committee in March to a three-year term. However, it's unclear at this time how the committee might change with eight of 12 Pac-12 schools scheduled to leave the conference in 2024. Two other committee members -- Michigan AD Warde Manuel and former Nebraska guard Will Shields -- have Big Ten affiliations.