Bjork’s hiring brings a paradigm shift for Ohio State athletics within the wake of the retirement of longtime athletic director Gene Smith, signaling a change in course below new president Ted Carter, who started his tenure in current weeks.
“Few athletics administrators have established such a formidable and robust document of success in athletics, within the classroom and all through the group,” Carter mentioned in an announcement. “The bar is extremely excessive at Ohio State, and we’ve got present in Ross a very smart and efficient chief — to not point out a fierce competitor.”
Bjork, 51, will work with Smith on the transition and can formally start his tenure with the Buckeyes on July 1.
“I’ve been terribly blessed to be a product of faculty athletics as a student-athlete and lucky to work with so many excellent student-athletes, coaches, workers and college leaders all through my profession, and Ohio State represents the end result of those efforts,” Bjork mentioned in an announcement. “To be part of Buckeye Nation, together with its storied traditions and lengthy historical past of feat, is an incredible honor and a welcome problem for me and our household. I am unable to wait to get began.”
Bjork brings greater than a decade of SEC expertise. He labored at Ole Miss because the athletic director from 2012 to 2019 earlier than being employed at Texas A&M. Previous to Ole Miss, he was the athletic director at Western Kentucky and earlier than that, an affiliate or assistant AD at colleges together with UCLA, Miami and Missouri.
Bjork had simply fired Texas A&M soccer coach Jimbo Fisher, which got here at the price of the best buyout within the historical past of the game. Texas A&M owes Fisher greater than $76 million of the totally assured deal. Bjork didn’t rent Fisher however was athletic director when the contract extension that led to the buyout was issued.
Within the wake of Fisher’s firing, Bjork executed a training search that ended with the hiring of ex-Duke coach Mike Elko.
Bjork helped information leaders within the Texas legislature within the improvement of the brand new NIL legislation. He additionally oversaw the creation of packages to equip student-athletes with schooling and sources associated to finance, private branding, networking and media coaching.
Ohio State looms as one of many high jobs in faculty athletics. Smith is about to retire in July after 18 seasons, throughout which he emerged as one of many sport’s most revered voices. Eight occasions throughout Smith’s tenure, Ohio State completed No. 1 within the Large Ten within the standings of the Administrators’ Cup, which acknowledges colleges with essentially the most success throughout faculty athletics.
Ohio State, which has 36 sports activities, has gained 32 crew and 117 particular person nationwide championships throughout Smith’s tenure.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel and The Related Press contributed to this report.