WKU Athletic Director Ross Bjork Leaving For Ole Miss

By: Jeff Woods
By: Jeff Woods

Bjork was named WKU Athletic Director in March 2010.

March 21, 2012

 

WKU Athletic Director Ross Bjork has accepted an offer to become the next AD at the University of Mississippi, the school confirmed Wednesday.  Bjork has released the following statement:

“I have decided to accept the director of athletics position at the University of Mississippi and depart WKU. While I was not seeking to leave WKU, the opportunity to oversee and manage the athletics department at a historic and prestigious university in the Southeastern Conference was one that we had to examine and ultimately accept.

“Dr. (Gary) Ransdell gave me a tremendous opportunity two years ago and I will always be indebted to him and our friendship. While my tenure at WKU has certainly turned out to be shorter than I could ever have anticipated, I have cherished every moment I have worked for WKU and been a part of the Hilltopper Nation.

“My family – Sonya, Payton and Paxton – have developed many friendships within the Bowling Green community and those friendships will endure well beyond our stay here. I cannot thank everyone in our community enough for the tremendous hospitality that we have been extended since the day I was hired.

“I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our coaches and student-athletes and all that they consistently represent on and off the field of play. They are to be commended for their successes and the manner they go about achieving them. I have treasured getting to know our student-athletes on a personal level and I will miss those relationships the most.

“I also want to thank our athletics staff. We have many talented and dedicated people within our athletic department whose successes on a daily basis do not make the sports pages but are vital to WKU’s athletics advancement.

“The future of WKU athletics is bright and the foundation is in place for greatness to occur for years to come. WKU fans can always count on the Bjork family being proud members of Hilltopper Nation.”

Bjork's stint as WKU's athletic director will be a short one. He was introduced in March 2010 to replace Wood Selig, who left WKU for Old Dominion. Perhaps Bjork's biggest move during his tenure was firing men's basketball coach Ken McDonald in early January and hiring Ray Harper as the full-time head coach in February. He also released Lady Topper basketball coach Mary Taylor Cowles earlier this month and hired Matt Myers as WKU's baseball coach last July.

Before returning to WKU (he served as Assistant Development Coordinator from 1996-97), Bjork was the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations at UCLA, where he directed all fund raising activities. His career also includes stints at Missouri and Miami (FL). He is the youngest athletic director of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Bjork will replace Pete Boone at Ole Miss, who announced his retirement last year.

WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell will address the media Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

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