ERIE -- Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn has finalized contracts for several nonconference football games in future seasons and hopes to be able to announce all or most of the Buffs` nonconference opponents through 2017 at some point in September.
CU has an open date for a home game next fall and will likely play host to a team from a non-automatic qualifying conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision or a team from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Bohn has taken some criticism for assembling such a difficult schedule for first-year coach Jon Embree. It is a slate of 13 consecutive games some have rated the most difficult in the nation to start the season.
Bohn said the move to the Pac-12 Conference and the nine conference games that come with it could not have been anticipated at the time nonconference games such asCal and Ohio State were added.
Bohn said he believes Embree "relishes" the challenge.
"Do I recognize it`s a huge challenge for us? Yes," Bohn said. "But our players love to play big games and play in good environments. Historically, CU has played great in big games and I believe our fans have the expectation.
"With that being said, I would not anticipate this type of schedule in the next two years, maybe the next three."
Considering the schedule and the fact the program is adjusting to new schemes and a first-year staff, what might Bohn consider a successful season?
"I`m not sure we have a specific goal," Bohn said. "We have high aspirations for this team and for this coaching staff. That`s why we are so energized and passionate about providing support for them."
Bohn said CU would really like to play Nebraska in future years and he will continue to work toward making it happen, but there is no game with the Cornhuskers on the horizon at this point.
He said he is working on a home-and-home series with a team from the Southeastern Conference but did not say which program.
When asked about contracts that were canceled or postponed because of changing leagues, a previous agreement to play LSU came up. Bohn said a series with LSU is still a possibility.
Hawkins will work
Former CU coach Dan Hawkins will serve as an analyst for ESPNU`s Saturday afternoon games this fall with play-by-play announcer Pam Ward.
Suites sold out
Bohn reported Wednesday that CU has sold out its 41 luxury suites for the five home games this season and is beginning to build a waiting list for suites in future seasons.
"We`re inspired and appreciative of our fans for helping us do that," Bohn said.
Bohn also announced that CU sold more than 1,400 season tickets in football last week and is now above the 23,000 mark. He set a goal earlier this fall of selling more than 25,000 season tickets this year.
The last time CU had more than 25,000 season ticket holders in football was 2003 when 26,901 season tickets were sold.
Hall of Fame to be
unveiled Aug. 20
Bohn announced the school will unveil its athletics Hall of Fame inside the new basketball and volleyball practice facility on Aug. 20.
The school began honoring its former great student-athletes, coaches and administrators in 1998, but it never has had a physical location for the Hall of Fame until now. The next class of inductees will be announced in 2012. So far, 47 men and women have been enshrined by the school.
"That should really be a special day for us," Bohn said.
Making a move
Jim Senter, who has worked in fundraising the past four years for the CU Foundation, is now an associate athletic director who will oversee the football program and serve as Bohn`s right-hand man in the same way former senior associate athletic director Tom McGrath did.
Senter served as athletic director at Idaho State in 2003-04 and previously worked as an assistant football coach at Idaho for nine seasons. He also served as an assistant coach under head coach John Cooper at both Tulsa and Arizona State.
"He has a background as a football coach. So that`s a nice fit there," Bohn said. "Obviously having his intricate knowledge of our system and our people will be a nice transition. So we`re excited about that."
The Sept. 10 home opener against California will begin at 1:30 p.m., and will be televised, though the television partner for the game has not been finalized. ...
The school will salute the 2001 Big 12 Conference championship football team at the Cal game. "It will be similar in nature to what we did last year with the national championship team," Bohn said. "It will just not be at the same level obviously because it was a conference championship versus a national championship." ...
The school will also honor the 1961 Big Eight championship team later in the season. ...
Bohn said there are now 621 new Buff Club members since the school announced it was joining the Pac-12.