Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I am thrilled to share with you that we have named Ross Bjork as senior vice president and Wolfe Foundation-Eugene Smith Endowed Athletics Director. His tenure as athletics director at Ohio State, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, will begin July 1, 2024.
I know you will join me in welcoming Ross and his family. He is a former student-athlete who brings to our university more than 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics and an impressive record of achievements. Throughout his career, he has focused on three primary elements to define success: competitive accomplishments, the student-athlete experience and academic excellence.
He currently serves as director of athletics at Texas A&M University, overseeing more than 600 student-athletes competing at the Division I level. Under his leadership, the institution has set new records in overall grade point average, NCAA Graduate Success Rate and NCAA Academic Progress Rate. He played a leading role in launching one of the largest fundraising campaigns in Texas A&M athletics’ history, planning for the construction of an academic and wellness center, indoor track stadium and football indoor performance center, among other projects.
At Texas A&M and throughout his career, he has been recognized for hiring successful coaches – and in 2021 worked with the Texas legislature to help develop a name, image and likeness law for the state while launching AMPLIFY, a program that equips student-athletes with education and resources related to finance, personal branding, networking and media training. He previously served as director of athletics and vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Mississippi, and as director of intercollegiate athletics at Western Kentucky University. In each instance, he oversaw institutional records related to the performance of varsity teams and student-athletes related to their sports, academic achievements and more. You can read more about it on Ohio State News.
Few athletics directors have established such an impressive and strong record of success in athletics, in the classroom and throughout the community. The bar is incredibly high at Ohio State, and we have found in Ross a highly intelligent and effective leader — not to mention a fierce competitor.
I want to thank the faculty, staff, students and community members on our search advisory committee — and especially Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith. Gene is a living legend as well as an all-time Buckeye great, and we will continue to benefit from his passion and knowledge through his retirement this summer. Gene and Ross will work together to ensure an effective transition with our student-athletes, coaches, department staff and university partners.
I can’t wait to welcome Ross to our team. Once again, thank you to all who worked so hard on finding the absolute right fit for Ohio State — and Go Bucks.