Whicker: Mike Bohn’s inaugural address is music to USC’s ears


LOS ANGELES — He will stand on your sideline, he will infiltrate your tailgate parties, he will pose for your selfies, he will never surrender.

Mike Bohn won’t just be the face of USC athletics, but the voice.

He thundered his way into the John McKay Center on Thursday for the press conference introducing him as athletic director. He said USC was special. “You feel it the moment you walk on campus,” he said.

He also said he was honored to be leading the “preeminent athletic program in America,” which was a little confusing, since Stanford is 320 miles to the north.

But he said it all in loud declarative sentences, the kind that made Board of Trustees chairman Rick Caruso smile knowingly, the kind that launches a thousand parking-lot cocktails.

This was like selling bacon in a kennel. Bohn knew how much USC folks want to reel in those years. He had done his homework.

“I’m immensely passionate and energetic,” Bohn said. “Those qualities never take a day off.”

First things first. Bohn said, obviously, that he couldn’t be expected to pass judgment on football coach Embattled Clay Helton until Bohn at least puts the family pictures on his desk.

Just as obviously, he did not spread encouraging vibes.

“I expect the football team to finish strong,” he said, speaking of the final three regular-season games for the 5-4 Trojans. “You heard me say it: Fight On For Victory.”

He said he was “anxious to meet Coach” and had “talked to a lot of people about him,” which caused faint giggling in the room.

Bohn came from Cincinnati, where the Bearcats are ranked 17th and have beaten UCLA twice since the last time USC did so. The coach is Luke Fickell, who once was on Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State. Fickell might be a good match, considering the fickle USC fan base. But Meyer’s inevitability is reminiscent of Chip Kelly’s at UCLA two years ago.

For those who wonder if USC president Dr. Carol Folt would welcome Meyer and his Samsonite full of malfeasance by players and assistant coaches alike, Folt said she expected four things from USC’s teams: Winning, competing for national championships, integrity, and the wellness of the athletes. She emphasized the “national” in championships.

Despite Fickell’s success, Bohn went 0 for 3 in hiring football coaches at Colorado. To be fair, Dan Hawkins was everyone’s hot candidate after his Boise State reign, and the fact that he cratered …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News


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