SOURCES – USC to hire Washington DC’s Jennifer Cohen as AD

Tamil houseESPNAugust 21, 2023, 01:40 PM ET3 minutes to read

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Sources tell ESPN that the University of Southern California is preparing to hire Washington native Jennifer Cohen as the school’s new athletic director.

Cohen is one of the most highly regarded sports directors in the country and would become the first woman to lead the Trojans’ athletic department.

She takes over at a critical time for USC, which departs for the Big Ten at the start of the 2024-25 school year and is reeling from the controversial departure of former athletic director Mike Boone.

Cohen has solid experience in both football and fundraising, which should sit well for USC as it enters its second season with Lincoln Riley as head coach.

Calling on current Washington head coach Calen DeBoer, who went 11-2 last season in his debut, Cohen primed the Huskies as a potential 2024 football playoff contender. Washington ranks 10th in the Associated Press preseason poll.

While at Washington, Cohen was the athletic director when the Huskies made it to the college football playoffs in 2016. She is a current member of the College Football Playoff Committee and is one of the most respected athletic directors in the country.

Washington is leaving just weeks after the school earned a spot in the Big Ten, a move that was part of a domino game that led to a precarious future for the Pac-12. You will leave when both USC and Washington begin their transition to a league primarily located in the Eastern Time Zone.

Cohen’s background in Washington dates back to 1998, when it began developing. She has emerged over the years as a prolific fundraiser, eventually overseeing the department’s flagship gift program.

Since taking over in 2016, Washington has won 17 Pac-12 titles overall.

Cohen wasn’t the athletic director when Washington hired Chris Petersen to football, but she played a key role in the hunt. She traveled with then-sports director Scott Woodward to Boise to meet Petersen and worked with him throughout his successful career.

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