Washington’s four-month search for a new athletic director is over.
Jennifer Cohen, who has worked at UW since 1998 and has been serving as the school’s interim AD since February, has been appointed to the full-time position, UW announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Cohen, a Tacoma native who attended Curtis High School and earned her master’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University, was considered the frontrunner to land the permanent position. She previously served as a senior associate athletic director, overseeing development and spearheading fundraising efforts for several of the school’s capital projects, including the renovation of Husky Stadium. Cohen also accompanied former athletic director Scott Woodward to Boise in December 2013 to convince Chris Petersen to become UW’s football coach.
UW president Ana Mari Cauce will introduce Cohen, who grew up attending UW football games with her father and once wrote a letter to Don James saying she wanted to become the first female football coach, as the school’s new athletic director at a Wednesday press conference.
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“I am very pleased to announce Jen’s appointment,” Cauce said in a statement released by the school. “She has all the skills and energy to provide exceptional leadership for Husky athletics. Her years of experience leading its fundraising program, along with her direct involvement overseeing football, provide a strong foundation for assuming overall leadership for the department. This is the right time for her, and I look forward to a very exciting time for our students, coaches and fans of Husky athletics.”
Cohen said in a statement: “I am humbled, honored, and extremely thankful for this opportunity. The University of Washington has been part of my life for nearly two decades, and I believe our department is poised to accomplish great things. Together, we will work to positively impact our student-athletes, inspire a championship culture, and build and unite our community. I believe there is no better place to achieve these things than at Washington, and I can’t wait to get started.”