Ball State University announced today that President Geoffrey S. Mearns has
appointed Ken Bothof to be the interim director of athletics. Mr. Bothof
succeeds Beth Goetz, who has accepted a position as deputy director of
athletics and chief operating officer at the University of Iowa Athletics
Mr. Bothof has 35 years of administrative experience in
college athletics, including nine years at Northern Kentucky University, where
he retired as vice president and director of athletics in June. From 2013-17,
Mr. Bothof served in that role under President Mearns, formerly the president
at Northern Kentucky.
“I had the good fortune of working alongside Ken at
Northern Kentucky. I know that, in addition to his extensive professional
experience, he has great judgment and shares our University’s commitment to
excellence, integrity, and inclusiveness,” President Mearns said. “I am
grateful that Ken is willing to postpone his retirement plans for a few months
to assist us with this temporary assignment while we conduct a search for our
next outstanding athletics director.”
“I’m appreciative of this opportunity and excited to
return to a campus setting and assist President Mearns and Ball State University
during this time of transition for the athletic department,” Mr. Bothof said.
“I’m also excited to be reunited with President Mearns, and will spend my time
at Ball State supporting the great work he, Beth Goetz, and their entire team
have accomplished over the past four years. I look forward to meeting and
supporting the talented coaches, staff, and student-athletes at Ball State.”
Mr. Bothof started his career in collegiate athletics in
1987 at San Jose State University, where he served as assistant athletic
director. He has also held positions at Idaho State University (senior
associate athletic director; 1990-95) and Saint Louis University (associate
athletic director for external operations; 1995-2002).
From 2002-13, Mr. Bothof served as director of athletics
at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he was instrumental in raising
$11 million in private funds to complete a $33 million renovation and expansion
of the Phoenix Sports Center. He also developed an outdoor facilities plan that
included new soccer and softball facilities, as well as expanded recreational
and intramural opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
At Northern Kentucky, Mr. Bothof successfully guided the
university’s transition from NCAA Division II to Division I, a process it
completed in 2016. As a result of the transition, annual athletics fundraising
increased more than five-fold under Mr. Bothof’s leadership, leading to
numerous facility and departmental improvements. Norse student-athletes also
excelled in the classroom during Mr. Bothof’s tenure, leading to at least 14
consecutive semesters with a cumulative department-wide GPA of 3.2 or better,
including a streak of at least eight consecutive semesters above a 3.37 GPA.
Mr. Bothof earned his bachelor’s degree in education from
Buena Vista University, where he competed in baseball and basketball.
President Mearns has started the process of forming a
screening committee to help him select the next full-time director of
athletics. He thanked Ms. Goetz for guiding the University’s Athletics
Department to new heights both competitively and in the classroom.
Over the last four years, Ball State’s teams have won 12 Mid-American
Conference (MAC) regular season and conference tournament championships, and its
student-athletes have won 15 individual MAC championships. And, in 2020, the
Ball State football team won its first postseason bowl game in program history.
Last academic year, across all sport programs, Ball State
student-athletes earned a collective GPA of 3.35. As a result, the University
received the 2022 MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award, which is
presented each year to the institution with the highest GPA in the MAC.
“I am grateful to Beth for
being an exemplary member of our University’s leadership team,” President
Mearns said. “During her time at Ball State, Beth retained and recruited an excellent
team of coaches and administrators—women and men who will inspire our student-athletes
to even greater success in the future. I would like to express my deepest
appreciation to Beth and wish her great success in the future.”