UPDATED 11:30 p.m. ET: Texas A&M has officially confirmed that it has become the latest SEC West school to poach its new athletic director from a divisional rival, with Ross Bjork leaving Oxford for College Station.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ross Bjork to Aggieland,” said Texas A&M president Michael K. Young in a statement. “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.”
Bjork, who spent the past seven years at Ole Miss, will be formally introduced June 3; he’ll officially take over as athletic director July 8.
(The original post on this development appears below.)
It appears the SEC West is hellbent on keeping it in the divisional family.
In mid-April, it was confirmed that Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward had been named to the same post at West rival LSU. Late Thursday night, it’s being reported by the Dallas Morning News that Woodward will be replaced at A&M by… the current athletic director at West rival Ole Miss, Ross Bjork.
An official announcement from A&M is expected at some point Friday.
The 46-year-old Bjork, who played his college football at Emporia State, has spent the past seven years as the AD at Ole Miss. Prior to that, he held the same title at Western Kentucky for three years.
Most noteworthy during his time in Oxford was the resurgence of the football program under Hugh Freeze followed by the stain of NCAA scandal, although Bjork’s reputation remained relatively unscathed as the university dealt with the off-field woes.