Ohio University didn't like the state of its basketball program.
The Bobcats finished the 2012-13 season with a 6-23 mark and 1-15 in the Mid-American Conference, including an 0-8 MAC record in Athens.
Former OU coach Semeka Randall, a two-time Ohio Ms. Basketball and standout at the University of Tennessee, had a 50-103 mark and 22-58 in the MAC over her five seasons with the Bobcats.
The Bobcats, which didn't renew Randall's contract earlier this month, needed drastic improvement.
Enter Bob Boldon.
Thursday, the 37 year old who transformed the Penguins into a viable program after a rock-bottom 0-30 season in the 2009-10 campaign, became OU's newest women's basketball coach. Boldon went 39-54 in three seasons with the Penguins.
Boldon left YSU after compiling a 23-10 (11-5 Horizon League) record last season - the best for the Penguins since going 28-3 in the 1997-98 campaign under legendary coach Ed DiGregorio. Boldon, the Horizon League Coach of the Year, guided the Penguins to the WNIT and a first-round win over Indiana State.
The Penguins also had the Horizon League Player of the Year in graduating senior Brandi Brown, who averaged a double-double per outing.
According to Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger, Boldon has agreed to a five-year deal with a base salary of $170,000.
Boldon had a five-year deal at Youngstown State worth $95,000 when he was hired in April 2010 to replace Cindy Martin.
"Bob Boldon is the right fit for what we're looking for," OU Director of Athletics Jim Schaus said in a news conference in Athens. "I'm so excited of what's ahead for our basketball program."
YSU Director of Athletics Ron Strollo said there will be a national search for the women's basketball vacancy beginning immediately. Strollo was happy with the job Boldon did in the classroom and on the floor.
"... I'm extremely confident that Youngstown State women's basketball is in a position to continue its outstanding tradition under the next coaching staff," Strollo said in a news release.
Boldon was not available to talk directly, nor were any YSU players, to the Tribune Chronicle.
Boldon, who coaches a motion offense, is seeking skill more than positional needs for the Bobcats.
"In recruiting, we try to find as skilled as player as we can and try to match them with as much athleticism as necessary to compete in the conference," Boldon said.
"We try to develop skill and try to make players as well as they possibly can be."
Boldon said building the Bobcats program won't be easy since the level of play in the MAC is so aggressive.
"The conference is really good," he said. "Night in, night out, there's going to be a battle. That can be a speed bump. You're playing good basketball, but you're losing. That sometimes happens when you're trying to turn a program around, especially the first year or two."
Boldon wants his YSU staff to come with him to Ohio University - assistants Tavares Jackson, Kate Schrader and Mary Perry Evans. Former Canfield High School boys basketball coach John Cullen is YSU's Director of Women's Basketball Operations.
"There's a couple members of my staff I'd like to have come with me," he said. "There's a couple of others that have job opportunities because of our success. That's top on my list of priorities.
"I was very fortunate to have a tremendous staff at Youngstown State. I'd love to have all of them here. Nature of the business is sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully it will work out for us."
Boldon, a 1993 Louisville High School graduate, began his coaching career in the 1997-98 season as an assistant at his collegiate alma mater - Walsh University. He coached two years at Arkansas-Monticello and one year at NAIA Lambuth. In addition to other assistant coaching stops since 1997, he was an assistant under current University of Akron coach Jodi Kest. He served under Kest at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Gannon University.
"I think every stop has an opportunity to learn from, both good and bad," Boldon said. "Hopefully I've done my job of learning and can use that at this stop."