Ross Bjork has transferred from Texas A&M to Ohio State University to become the Buckeyes' new athletic director, it was announced Tuesday.
Bjork's hiring marks a paradigm shift for the Ohio State University of Athletics following the retirement of longtime athletic director Gene Smith and signals a change in direction under new president Ted Carter, who was appointed in recent weeks. are doing.
“Few athletics coaches have achieved such remarkable success in athletics, in the classroom, and throughout the community,” Carter said in a statement. “The bar for Ohio State is incredibly high, and we found in Ross a highly intelligent and capable leader, not to mention a fierce competitor.”
Bjork will work with Smith on the transition and will officially begin his tenure with the Buckeyes on July 1.
“As a student-athlete, I have been blessed with the accomplishments of collegiate athletics and have been fortunate to have worked with many outstanding student-athletes, coaches, staff, and university leaders throughout my career. The Ohio State University is the culmination of these efforts. ” Björk said in a statement. “Becoming a member of Buckeye Nation, with its storied tradition and long history of achievement, is a great honor and a welcome challenge for me and our family. I can't wait to get started.”
Bjork brings more than a decade of SEC experience. He worked as the athletic director at Ole Miss from 2012 to 2019 before being hired by Texas A&M. Prior to attending Ole Miss, he was the athletic director at Western Kentucky and before that was an associate or assistant AD at schools such as UCLA, Miami and Missouri State.
Bjork had just fired Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher, but he did so at the cost of one of the most expensive buyouts in sports history. Texas A&M owes Fisher more than $76 million of his fully guaranteed contract. Bjork did not hire Fisher, but he was the athletic director when the contract extension that led to the buyout was made.
Following Fisher's firing, Bjork conducted a coaching search that ended with the hiring of former Duke coach Mike Elko.
Ohio State University has emerged as one of the top jobs in college athletics. Smith, who played 18 seasons during which he emerged as one of the most respected voices in the sport, is scheduled to retire in July. Eight times during Smith's tenure, Ohio State has finished first in the Big Ten in the Director's Cup standings, which recognizes the most successful schools in college athletics.
Ohio State has 36 sports and won 32 team and 117 individual national championships during Smith's tenure.
ESPN's Pete Thamel contributed to this report.