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To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: President Ashish Vaidya
Date: 01/05/22
Subject: Athletic Director Ken Bothof’s Retirement

Dear Campus Community:

I write today to share the news that, effective June 30, 2022, after nearly nine years leading our Division I Norse Athletics programs, Ken Bothof has decided to retire as director of athletics at Northern Kentucky University.

I am grateful to have worked with Ken these past few years and I am pleased to have him serve through June as we prepare to launch a national search for a new AD.

Ken joined NKU as director of athletics in August 2013, inheriting an athletic department that was in the middle of a transition to Division I status and successfully guided the Norse programs into active DI membership in August 2016. Among the most important successes during Ken’s time at NKU is the overhaul of the academics operation in athletics, which has led to 14 straight semesters with a cumulative, department-wide GPA of 3.20 or better. That also includes a current streak of eight consecutive semesters of a GPA better than 3.37.

The Norse also played to unprecedented successes on the field and the court during the past nine years as well. Among the highlights:

  • Norse women’s soccer won the 2016 Horizon League Championship and earned the department’s first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance that year. 
  • Men’s basketball won league tournament titles and NCAA tournament berths in 2017, 2019 and 2020 with a regular-season title and NIT appearance in 2018.
  • Women’s volleyball won a league championship in 2019 and appeared in the NCAA tournament that year.
  • Men’s golfer Jacob Poore became the first Norse individual to qualify for an NCAA appearance when he did so in 2018.

Additionally, season-ticket sales for men’s basketball have nearly tripled during Ken’s tenure and fundraising has risen more than five-fold in that time. In fact, and a recent gift pushed Norse Athletics beyond its $8.5 million campaign goal. Facility enhancements 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. He also negotiated partnerships with Adidas as our athletics apparel provider and with St. Elizabeth Healthcare to enhance the sports medicine services provided to Norse student-athletes.

No doubt, he will leave big shoes to fill. Please join me in congratulating Ken on a wonderful career and wishing him well as he begins a new chapter in his life.

Ashish Vaidya