Texas A&M has a new face of the athletics department.
Former Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork was introduced at the Ford Hall of Champions Monday afternoon as the 20th Director of Athletics for A&M.
Bjork comes to College Station after a seven-year stint at University of Mississippi, where he took over as the youngest power five athletic director in 2012. He also served in the same role at Western Kentucky for a pair of seasons.
The move came after former AD Scott Woodward left Aggieland for Louisiana State University — his alma mater. Former A&M head coach and Hall of Famer R.C. Slocum was named interim AD after Woodward’s departure.
“I met R.C. a few years ago through our mutual friend Archie Manning,” Bjork said. “When R.C. was named interim athletic director I called him, and I said, ‘congrats on being the new athletic director in the SEC. If you need something, I’m here to help.’ I had no idea that I would be in this role when I made that call.”
Bjork made his mark in the power five scene when the Ole Miss football team earned its first Sugar Bowl bid in 2015, 44 years since the Rebels’ last visit. That team also won 10 games for the first time since 2003.
Most notably, Ole Miss had its highest finishes in the Leadfield IMG Directors’ Cup for two seasons from 2016-2018.
“Well I don’t have [Ole Miss head coach] Matt Luke’s playbook,” Bjork joked when asked about the importance from being from a SEC West program. “I think it’s important, the respect and camaraderie around the table of athletic directors, there’s relationship that you have to know kinda where people are coming from, if they bring certain legislation up, or whatever the conversation is. There’s no learning curve.”
Bjork said that A&M piqued his interest back in 1998 when he was working as the assistant athletic director for development at Missouri when the two schools played in the Big 12.
“If I remember right, I was in the press box [at Kyle Field} and it was shaking,” Bjork said. “So I thought, ‘is that an earthquake, is that the band?’ There’s a ton of passion here and the students stand up the whole game and you got the 12th Man, the Corps and the band.”
In addition, Bjork said that his family was not going to leave Oxford unless it was a top-five program and a great college town.
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, who was one of Woodward’s biggest hires during his time in College Station, said he is pleased with the hiring of Bjork and excited about what he brings to the table.
“I believe he has a great vision for the overall department and for the complete student athlete experience,”Fisher said. “He has done a tremendous job in the area of academics, as well as fund raising, to help provide the necessary resources needed for excellence in all areas. I think he will be an outstanding leader here at Texas A&M and I look forward to working with him.”
Bjork will take over as athletic director in full capacity on July 8.