BREAKING : Jen Cohen leaves UW for USC

After 26 years as a loyal servant to the university of Washington Athletic Department Jen Cohen decided it was time to move on. After serving seven the last seven years as the UW Athletic Director Cohen was named the new USC AD.

“Jen is an experienced, engaged, and steadfast leader who takes a student-centered approach in building and running an athletics program. And, she has built a reputation as a fierce competitor who wants to win in every sport the right way,” said USC President Carol L Folt during Monday’s press conference at USC’s Heritage Hall

“We are experiencing an unprecedented transformation in college athletics, and Jen has the strategic vision and experience to lead USC Athletics through this historic time which includes joining America’s premier conference, the Big Ten, and hosting several venues for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. There has never been a more exciting or important period in the history of USC athletics.”


To say the UW athletic department was caught off guard is an understatement. Wounded but not mortally the school immediately named Erin O’Connell as interim athletic director while a national search committee is formed. O’Connell served a stint as the department’s deputy of athletic director and senior woman administrator.


During her press conference at USC Cohen was gracious and showed gratitude for her time at the University of Washington

“I’ve worked in college athletics and higher education for the last three decades, and there is no place that has afforded me more opportunity than the University of Washington,” Cohen said at a news conference Monday, sporting a bright red jacket and a USC pin. “I want to take a moment to thank President Cauce at UW for, one, believing in me and developing me, caring about me and caring about our student-athletes.”

As for leading one of the most prestigious athletic programs in the country, Cohen vowed to lead with integrity and character.

“Leading USC Athletics is not just an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a responsibility of a lifetime,” Cohen said Monday. “I will lead with integrity and with character and with heart.”

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