Mike Bohn forced out as CU athletic director, sources say; Ceal Barry named interim director

BOULDER, CO - Mike Bohn has been forced out after eight years as athletic director at the University of Colorado Boulder, sources tell 7NEWS Sports Director Lionel Bienvenu. The university announced that Ceal Barry has been named interim director.

Bohn had three years left on his contract.

CU Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said on Tuesday afternoon that Bohn has "accepted the resignation" of Bohn, effective June 3. Later that day, DiStefano named Adele Cecilia “Ceal” Barry the interim director for the university.

"Mike Bohn led CU-Boulder athletics in a time of great transition and change," said DiStefano in a statement. "We are grateful to him for his vision, passion and commitment, and for his key role in revitalizing men’s and women’s basketball, helping us to join the Pac-12 Conference, and in taking important steps to upgrade athletic facilities at CU-Boulder. We wish him well."

7NEWS obtained an email Bohn wrote to his staff:

"I am very disappointed to not be able to share this with you in person as you know I respect the hard work and dedication you all demonstrate daily.

"Regrettably, I am resigning as Athletic Director effective immediately. I believe it is best given the current circumstances. They want to go in a different direction and that is their prerogative. This is a very disappointing, troubling and shocking development as we have made so much progress together over the past 8 years.

"I want to ensure you know, as my official separation agreement states, that I have not engaged in any impropriety, NCAA rule violations, university policy violation or any immoral, dishonest, or other sort of misconduct."

Barry's appointment as interim director will begin June 3, the same day Bohn's resignation takes effect.

“Ceal’s experience, leadership and credibility with our athletic staff and stakeholders make her an ideal person to assume this important role as we search for new leadership,” said DiStefano.

DiStefano said the university would be seeking "a dynamic leader" as athletic director,  someone who "can focus on our key goals of fundraising, building a dynamic organization, and creating long-term sustainability in the athletics mission."

"We are seeking a talented leader who can build on Mike’s vision and make it a reality," said DiStefano.

The university in February announced a $50 million facilities fundraising campaign as the anchor of a $170 million multiphase, multiyear upgrade of CU athletics facilities at Folsom Field and the Dal Ward Center, and the development of an indoor practice facility.

--About Mike Bohn--

After leading the Buffaloes' move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 in 2010, Bohn was rewarded in August 2011 when the Board of Regents and DiStefano gave him a five-year contract extension into 2017.

But Bohn also took heat for back-to-back busts at hiring new head football coaches. 

In November, Bohn fired head football coach Jon Embree as the Buffaloes completed the worst season in the 123-year history of the program. They finished 1-11 with their lone victory a 35-34 win at Washington State on Sept 23. Embree had a 4-21 record during two years at CU.

Embree had replaced head coach Dan Hawkins, who was fired in November 2010. Hawkins finished 19-39 at CU and failed to post a winning season in five years.

Bohn grew up in Boulder and graduated in 1979 from Boulder High, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball.

Bohn was named the CU athletic director in April 2005 after working as AD at San Diego State for 18 months.

Bohn oversaw the hiring of nine head coaches at CU: Mike MacIntyre, Jon Embree and Dan Hawkins (football); Tad Boyle and Jeff Bzdelik (men's basketball); Linda Lappe and Kathy McConnell-Miller (women's basketball); Roy Edwards (men's golf); and Liz Kritza (volleyball).

Before San Diego State, Bohn was athletic director at Idaho for five years (1999-2003). During his career, Bohn has worked on the athletic department staffs at the Air Force Academy (1984-92) as well as Colorado State (1996-98). He also worked for the College Football Association.

Bohn left Boulder out of high school and played baseball at the University of Kansas, graduating in 1983.

--About Ceal Barry--

Ceal Barry is currently the associate athletic director for student services and senior woman administrator in the department. She was hired as the women’s basketball coach in 1983 and has been involved with CU athletics for 30 years.

In 2005, Barry retired as CU’s winningest coach ever in all sports, with 427 victories, 12 NCAA tournament appearances and three Elite Eight appearances. Over 95 percent of Barry’s student-athletes have graduates, and 85 of them earned Academic All-Conference honors.

--Entire email to staff from Mike Bohn--

To all my valued colleagues,

I am very disappointed to not be able to share this with you in person as you know I respect the hard work and dedication you all demonstrate daily.

Regrettably, I am resigning as Athletic Director effective immediately. I believe it is best given the current circumstances. They want to go in a different direction and that is their prerogative. This is a very disappointing, troubling and shocking development as we have made so much progress together over the past 8 years.

I want to ensure you know,  as my official separation agreement states, that I have not engaged in any impropriety, NCAA rule violations, university policy violation or any immoral, dishonest, or other sort of misconduct.

Our Guiding Principles are a wonderful tool for us to stand on during challenging times like this. We have distinguished ourselves on the national level with our integrity and commitment to our Student-Athletes.

I am so grateful of the entire Department of Athletics team we built together and I want you to know that I am proud and honored to have worked with you in growing our enterprise. I CARE deeply about each and every one of  our terrific Coaches, Staff and Student-Athletes. We have made tremendous progress together and I urge you to continue to stand Shoulder to Shoulder in representing our institution with class and distinction.

My family and I have given all of our hearts and soul to the program and I urge you to continue to do the same. Go Buffs!

Mike

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