SEC athletic director carousel: Texas A&M hires Ross Bjork away from Ole Miss
Bjork has been leading the athletics program at Ole Miss since 2012
The SEC's athletic director merry-go-round continues to spin. Texas A&M hired Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork to the same role with the Aggies, the schools announced Thursday. Bjork replaces Scott Woodward, who left to take the same position at LSU last month.
"I am so honored to accept this position and look forward to greeting coaches, staff and the entire 12th Man," said Bjork. "I remember visits to Kyle Field even before its massive renovation, being enthralled with the whole environment. I love leadership lessons, especially in military history; The Corps of Cadets – the 'Keepers of the Spirit' – are also a wonderful draw to the university. I will always aspire to live up to the core values that the university holds dear, and to compete for and win championships."
Bjork, 46, has been in charge of the Ole Miss athletic department since 2012. During that time, the Rebels football program went to two New Year's Six bowl games, beat Alabama twice (2014 and 2015) and became a national contender under former coach Hugh Freeze. It culminated in 2015 when the Rebels won 10 games for the first time since 2003 and won the Sugar Bowl for the first time since the 1969 season.
"I am thrilled to welcome Ross Bjork to Aggieland," said Texas A&M president Michael K. Young. "His outstanding reputation as a leader will be vital to the continued trajectory of our athletics program. His appreciation for higher education is evident in achieving the highest GPA and graduation rates on record during his tenure at Ole Miss. We look forward to formally introducing Ross in the coming days and also to welcoming his wife, Sonya, and sons, Paxton and Payton, to one of the most hospitable communities on earth. I also want to thank Coach R.C. Slocum, cherished by all Aggies, for stepping in during this time to lead the department. I look forward to continuing to work with him."
Even though Bjork's time at Ole Miss resulted in success between the white lines of the football field, it will be marred by the process in which part of that success was achieved. Under his watch, Ole Miss was subjected to a prolonged NCAA investigation that resulted in a two-year bowl ban, scholarship restrictions and vacated wins from 2012-14 and in 2016. The low point of the era came in July 2017 when a Freedom of Information Act requested found inappropriate phone calls made by Freeze on his school issued device. That investigation resulted in Freeze's dismissal prior to the 2017 season.
Before moving to Oxford, Mississippi, Bjork led Western Kentucky's athletic department from 2010-12. He also has experience in athletic administrations at UCLA, Miami and Missouri.
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