Texas A&M has a new athletic director.
University President Michael K. Young announced on May 23 that University of Mississippi athletic director Ross Bjork will fill the athletic director position. Bjork will be officially welcomed to College Station on June 3, prior the SEC Spring Meetings in Florida.
After former AD Scott Woodward left for LSU in April, former A&M football coach and Hall of Famer R.C. Slocum has served as interim athletic director and will serve until Bjork’s instatement on July 8.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ross Bjork to Aggieland,” Young said in a university press release. “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.”
Under his administration, Ole Miss earned bids to two New Year’s Six bowls in 2014 and 2015, and a bid a College World Series appearance in 2014.
Bjork took over as AD in Oxford in 2012 after departing from Western Kentucky, where he served the same role. He was the youngest AD in the Power Five at the time of his hiring at Ole Miss.
“I am so honored to accept this position and look forward to greeting coaches, staff and the entire 12th Man,” Bjork said in a university press release. “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.”
During SEC team meetings in Destin, Florida on Monday May 23, Bjork joined A&M football announcer Andrew Monaco and Host on 12th Man Production Will Johnson on the Studio 12 podcast to discuss the new job and why he made the decision to move to A&M.
“I think when anytime that a top-five athletic department job comes open and you’re contacted about that opportunity, you have to listen,” Bjork said on the podcast. “...I didn’t have to leave Ole Miss. Ole Miss has been great to me and my family, and we’re back on track with a lot of things. But you get a phone call saying hey you’re on the list, they want to meet with you, are you willing? You say absolutely, where’s that meeting at, when do I need to be there? Because Texas A&M is a top-five program. Resources, footprint, fans, former students I mean, everybody is all in at Texas A&M. The commitment is there. This is an opportunity that we could not as a family and me as an athletic director pass up. It’s really, really humbling and I’m honored to be part of Aggieland and the 12th Man.”
Bjork said he is excited to start building relationships within the 12th Man Foundation and maintain the progress that Woodward made with the foundation.
“I can’t wait to engage with the board. I had great experience working with outside boards, separate entities if you will, but also integrating them into our processes, integrating them into the vision of the athletic department,” Bjork said on the podcast. “...We built all these great things and you guys have built all these great things, Texas A&M and the 12th Man Foundation has, but what’s next? That’s going to be our job is to learn and listen what our coaches need, what the student-athletes’ needs are, because there’s always going to be ‘what’s next?’ There’s always going to be something. It’s non-stop in this competitive world so it’s going to be fun to turn all those assets on.”