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 Tuesday, June 28, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


Update from Mike Bohn, Athletic Director
Courtesy: CUBuffs.com

Editor's note: We thought you would be interested in this article written by Mike Bohn, CU athletic director, after his first 50 days on the job. Recently published on the athletic department's Web site, it is the first in a series of periodic columns designed to share with fans what's going on with Colorado Buffalo athletics.


Athletic Director Mike Bohn talks with students. (Photo/Casey A. Cass)

CU-Boulder, in conjunction with the Daily Camera, will host its third and final Colorado Buffaloes Town Meeting featuring CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn and Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, 5:30-6:30 p.m. this evening (Tuesday, June 28) at the Boulder Marriott, 2660 Canyon Blvd. next to McGuckin Hardware. Admission and parking is free and open to the public. For more information, read the press release.

Throwin' You A Bohn

As of today (May 31), it's been 50 days since I was named your athletic director. I feel that we've really got some new and exciting things rolling in this short time and things are only going to get better.

I held the first of what I plan to be many roundtables with our local beat media. We had a good turnout and Ceal Barry accompanied me. We informed the group of updates, some upcoming changes and then had a quality Q & A session to close out the 90-minute gathering. Here is some of what I shared with the media:

Your TEAM Campaign
We've implemented what we're calling the "Your TEAM" campaign. That's not in an arrogant sense in telling people we're your team, but meaning that this program and its people belong to the state of Colorado. This is your team, so help us become the kind of program you are proud of. We want to bolster support and attendance for all our sports.

In addition, we need to raise $3.7 million for four particular needs by September 1. I'm happy to write that as of today, we have raised $1.245 million of that goal, including a $1 million gift from a long-time season ticket holder who has chosen to remain anonymous. In addition but separate to this, annual giving is up 5.5 percent from this time a year ago, or just over $200,000.

The priorities of the monies needed include upgrades to Prentup Field, where we have committed to play all our home soccer games this fall, potential partnership with the Millennium Harvest House on tennis facilities for both our men's and women's teams to practice and play their home matches, weight room improvements at both the Dal Ward and Coors Events centers, and to fill the gap of a $1.9 million between scholarship fundraising and the actual costs of those scholarships.

CU In The Community
I just couldn't be happier with the response so far… and so quickly. People seem to feel good about the Your TEAM campaign we have undertaken. We've had coaches and staff members visiting with a lot of folks at different things around town, such as the Bolder Boulder and the Boulder Creek Festival. Whether it's been simply shaking hands or giving out stickers, we're working hard to embrace the community and get people to feel good about their university. Our first Town Meeting (on May 23) was a success, we got excellent feedback from those in attendance and want to conduct at least two more later this spring or summer, in Denver and possibly Longmont the second town meeting was held in Lafayette June 21).

Ticket Update
We have a renewal rate of 84 percent thus far for football season tickets. The raw numbers from 2004 show 7,778 people purchased 20,821 tickets. That does not include faculty, staff, students, club seats or suites. We have sold 999 club seats, up from 908 last year and have 28 suites out of 41 sold, with contracts on two others to be closed in June, so that would give us 30 total whereas we sold 27 last season. We're still working with those people who have not yet renewed and are hopeful the renewal rate will climb higher.

Academic Reorganization
Our assistant athletic director for academics, Mark Nelson, left for a similar position at the University of Minnesota earlier this month. Rather than fill the position from the outside, we're redefining Ceal Barry's new role of an assistant AD into an associate's position where she will be responsible for overseeing academics, sports medicine, equipment and strength and conditioning. I couldn't feel more confident about how this is going to come together. This is a huge step forward because of Ceal's equity, reputation and relationships on campus. I feel like we've just put our all-star in an area that has a need.

Sport Camps
We are working toward a transition, or transformation if you will, on how we run our camps. In my opinion, it's been a little disjointed in the past and there are opportunities we can create by approaching this collectively.

First, and most importantly, this is not a result of any one sport or coach, but a way to market them together, run things better and overall make things more efficient. Centralizing all the operations - from housing and recruiting opportunities to risk and liabilities –will eventually make this a positive move and all our coaches are on board and have embraced this new philosophy. It's something that has worked at institutions such as Iowa State and Alabama. Coaches still get to run the camps the way they want, but everything will be run through the University and its payroll department will issue the paychecks to those working the camps. It's important thing to note that none of these changes will make anything different to the consumer.

CU-Georgia Football Series
We've agreed to play the Bulldogs in 2006 and 2010 and this series with Georgia is significant for several reasons: We get to play in a great venue in Athens and in turn bring a quality opponent to Folsom Field, plus we have a large and active alumni base in the Atlanta area and it was fortuitous to add a quality road game in 2006 when we already have six games in Boulder and a seventh in Denver in the Colorado State game. From a financial standpoint, including television dollars, the game next year could result in anywhere from $1.1 to $1.3 million in revenue for the athletic department.

CU-Air Force Rivalry
I can't speak for Air Force, but I believe the University of Colorado and Air Force should collaborate and play each other in every sport we both participate in, including football. It just makes sense to play each other and I plan on working to get that done. It used to be - and can be again - a great rivalry.

To say that I am extremely excited to be here would be an understatement. I feel we have hit the ground running and we're going to keep that up. In a short time from now we will open the 2005-06 athletic year with the women's soccer team hosting Vanderbilt at Prentup Field and the CU-CSU game at Folsom Field. I am eager to see how much we can accomplish between now and then.

Go Buffs!

Mike

Mike's periodic column, "Throwin' You A Bohn," can be found in the Colorado Athletics Fund section on the Colorado Buffaloes Web site.


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