NASHVILLE, TENN. — Craig Bohl will be stepping into the role of executive director of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in February 2024 after being voted into the position by the AFCA’s Board of Trustees at the 2024 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Bohl will be taking over the position from outgoing executive director Todd Berry, who has been leading the Association since 2016.
“It’s an honor and privilege to follow in the footsteps of Todd Berry,” new AFCA Executive Director Craig Bohl said. “Coach Berry’s leadership has taken the AFCA to new heights, but there is still a lot of work to be accomplished. I appreciate the AFCA Board of Trustees entrusting the leadership of the AFCA to me. I’m very excited about the future.”
Bohl takes over the AFCA after a 43-year career in coaching, including both assistant and head coaching jobs at the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision levels. He retired from coaching at the conclusion of the 2023 season with one final victory for the Wyoming Cowboys in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl.
Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Bohl was a defensive back for the Cornhuskers from 1977 to 1979 and started his coaching career as a graduate assistant with Nebraska in 1981. In 1984, Bohl made his first stop at North Dakota State as the defensive backs coach. After just one season in Fargo, Bohl moved on to Tulsa as linebackers coach from 1985 to 1986. He spent two seasons at Wisconsin as linebackers coach before becoming the defensive coordinator at Rice in 1989. After five seasons with the Owls, Bohl was the defensive coordinator at Duke in 1994 before returning to his alma mater in 1995.
Bohl would coach at Nebraska for eight seasons, with the first five as linebackers coach. He was a part of two national championship seasons in 1995 and 1997. Bohl was promoted to defensive coordinator from 2000 to 2002 as the Huskers earned a BCS National Championship game appearance in 2001. Following his impressive coaching stint at Nebraska, Bohl returned to North Dakota State, this time as their head coach, in 2003.
At North Dakota State, Bohl guided the program as they transitioned from Division II to Division I-FCS and turned the Bison program into a juggernaut. In his 11 seasons as head coach, Bohl led the Bison to a Great West Conference title in 2006 and three straight Missouri Valley Football Conference titles from 2011-13. NDSU also won three straight FCS national titles, finishing with records of 14-1 in 2011, 14-1 in 2012 and 15-0 in 2013. The Bison became only the second team in FCS history to win three straight national championships. In his 11 seasons with NDSU, Bohl had an overall record of 104-32 and won two AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and 2013, and two straight AFCA FCS National Coach of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013. Following his third national championship, Bohl became the head coach at Wyoming.
Bohl was the head coach for the Cowboys for 10 seasons and recorded more bowl game appearances (six) and bowl game wins (4) than any other head coach in Wyoming history. He had six winning seasons, which is the second most in program history. In 2016, Wyoming went 8-6 and tied for first place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, which led to their first bowl game appearance under Bohl. He followed that up with a second-place finish in the Mountain Division and a win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In his final three seasons as head coach, Wyoming won at least seven games each season and appeared in three straight bowl games, winning two of them.
Bohl recruited and developed the most Wyoming NFL players in school history, which included eight NFL Draft picks. He developed the highest draft pick in program history when quarterback Josh Allen was selected No. 7 overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Bohl’s association with the AFCA began in 1983 when he became a member. He was named to the AFCA Board of Trustees in 2012, serving as president of the association in 2022. He also served on the 13-member NCAA Division I Football Competition Committee in January of 2017 and the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee.
Bohl becomes the sixth executive director of the AFCA. DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry was the first full-time executive director, serving the Association from 1960-65. He was followed by Bill Murray from 1966-81, Charles McClendon from 1982-93, Grant Teaff from 1994-2015 and Todd Berry from 2016-23.