USC appoints interim leadership after Bohn exit

In the wake of Mike Bohn’s sudden departure as USC athletic director, the school is forming an interim leadership team comprised of one internal administrator as well as three external administrators, according to a letter addressed to the athletic department and obtained by ESPN.

USC president Carol Folt said in the Wednesday letter that Dr. Denise Kwok — the Trojans’ current executive senior associate AD for student-athlete development — will act as interim executive administrator.

Joining her will be three figures from outside the university in order to “ensure USC continues to function seamlessly during the transition and complete its preparation for joining the Big Ten Conference,” Folt wrote. Those three individuals are former Penn State and Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour, former Duke CFO and deputy of athletics Mitch Moser and former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg.

“This team brings depth, experience, and great expertise in championship-level Division I intercollegiate athletics, including NIL, recruiting and facilities management, operations, marketing, finance, and Big Ten conference processes and procedures,” Folt wrote. “They will augment the leadership and staff in our department and provide a broad national perspective on changes taking place nationally.”

Folt also said four internal individuals will comprise the transition team: incoming provost Andrew Guzman; senior VP and general counsel Beong-Soo Kim; senior VP of HR, equity and compliance Felicia Washington; and presidential adviser Mark Merritt.

The appointments come less than a week after Bohn surprisingly resigned. Bohn, 62, had been a leading figure in revamping the football program by bringing Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma.

While Bohn cited health concerns and the desire to spend time with his family in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, the newspaper reported that Bohn’s resignation came shortly after it asked him and the school about internal criticism of his management of the athletic department.

According to the Times, six current and former USC employees said staffers inside the department had raised concerns about Bohn and his management approach. Multiple sources told the Times that Bohn made inappropriate comments about the dress, hair and weight of women in the department, leaving staffers uncomfortable.

Earlier this year, the university conducted an internal review led by Gina Maisto Smith, a Philadelphia-based attorney from Cozen O’Connor who has experience dealing with “sexual and gender-based harassment, violence, child abuse, elder abuse, other forms of discrimination and harassment, workplace misconduct, and criminal conduct,” according to the firm’s website.

Bohn’s departure came at a crucial time for USC, which is heading into its final year as a member of the Pac-12 before leaving for the Big Ten.

Folt did not provide any updates in Wednesday’s letter about the timeline to hire Bohn’s replacement.

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