Mike Bohn noticed the moment he walked to the podium at the eighth floor of the Lindner Center the energy and momentum driving University of Cincinnati athletics.
With the pep band playing the fight song and cast of faculty, staff and coaches coating the back wall only hours before a critical home basketball game against UConn, Bohn couldn't help acknowledge it.
With a bombastic and energetic tone he's been known for since jumping into the athletics game 30 years ago, he heaped praise toward the band, cheerleaders and jumped into speaking about the passion he's noticed around town.
"The sense of team came through loud and clear," Bohn said. "That's impressive to me. That's attractive to me."
The word momentum would flow out of his mouth dozens of times in the next 30 minutes as blew through the local media car wash.
Momentum created here under Whit Babcock caught his eye. An ability to create momentum sold President Santa Ono.
Everywhere Ono seeks a leader and the Bearcats to advance on the college athletics landscape Bohn offers experience times over.
Need to raise money? He oversaw several multi-million dollar capital projects and facility upgrades at Colorado, as well as secured the largest corporate sponsorship in school history.
Need to spend effectively? In 2013 his athletic department was name the most economically efficient in the country.
Need to invigorate the fan base? Ono can relay that answer: "He is a communication and marketing genius."
Perhaps most importantly to those familiar with the economics of college ahteltics, if you need an athletic director familiar with navigating the water of conference realignment, Bohn would be your man.
He was the first to hop into the Pac-12 and secure Colorado's spot at the table. As an AD at Idaho he even found a way to temporarily keep the football program afloat once the Big West conference stopped sponsoring football. It wasn't the best fit moving the Sun Belt, but kept the program alive.
He knows how to align a program to take advantage of whatever opportunity that arrives. It's why he's here.
"It's imperative to have your trustees, your president, your athletic department, your community all in alignment," he said. "That's why I talk about synergy and teamwork. And that's why it's inspiring to be here because that is in place. Other institutions, that is what they are looking for, a commitment and great sense of foundation from all those key players."
His connections across college athletics wowed Ono. As did Bohn's personality. While Babcock's search lasted 10 weeks, this lasted 12 days. Bohn left Ono with no doubts.
"He's a seasoned leader, proven innovator, trusted partner and community builder," Ono said. "He's somebody deeply connected to the community, alumni and fans. He has a tremendous amount of energy and passion."
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