Jennifer Cohen named USC director of athletics

Photo of Jennifer Cohen, USC's Athletic Director
Jennifer Cohen has led the University of Washington athletic department since 2016. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Cohen, a Southern California native, was previously athletic director at the University of Washington. She will be USC’s 10th director of athletics and the first woman to hold the position.

Jennifer Cohen was named USC’s new athletic director by President Carol L. Folt on ­Monday. Cohen will join the university’s famed athletics program on Tuesday after more than three decades in intercollegiate athletics.

Cohen, who will hold the Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics’ Chair, comes to USC from the University of Washington, where she has been the athletic director for the past seven years. She has spent 25 years at Washington and previously held a variety of roles in intercollegiate athletics administration at Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Puget Sound and Texas Tech University. She will be the 10th director of athletics at USC and the first woman to hold the position.

New USC athletic director: Strong focus on student academic and athletic success

Reimagining athletics is one of Folt’s moonshots for the university. Her vision includes building the nation’s best athletics department, complete with world-class leadership and upgraded facilities. She recently unveiled the university’s strategic plan for all 21 sports programs in a sweeping round of enhancements that include an innovative football performance center; the construction of Rawlinson Stadium, the new home of USC women’s lacrosse and soccer teams; and major improvements to USC baseball’s Dedeaux Field and the Galen Center arena. Future renovations include the expansion of the John McKay Center and the student-athlete dining facility and upgrades to the golf practice facility, among others.

“USC is a national powerhouse in every measure of college athletics, and I look forward to honoring the Trojan heritage while working alongside the incredible USC Athletics team as we embrace both the opportunities and challenges of this complex moment,” Cohen said.

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