New Ohio State AD Ross Bjork explains interest in Mark Stoops from Aggies’ head coach search

As one chapter closes and another opens, former Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork had some explaining to do.

Bjork was hired as the future director of athletics at The Ohio State University on Tuesday afternoon, replacing Gene Smith who is retiring in June. Bjork held his introductory press conference in Columbus on Wednesday and answered a bevy of questions.

In Sept. 2021, Bjork gave former Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher a 10-year contract extension, then fired him in Nov. 2023. On Wednesday, he addressed Texas A&M’s reported interest in Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, before eventually hiring Mike Elko to lead the program.

“Here’s what people, they don’t really realize about the process,” Bjork said. “The athletic director and the team — whatever that may look like — we run a search process. We make recommendations to the president. ‘I would like to hire this person,’ or ‘I think this is the No. 1 candidate.’ That’s how it works in every institution. No athletic director has the full autonomy to say, ‘I’m absolutely going to hire this person and no one else is involved.’ That’s where it goes back to alignment, that’s where it goes back to process and communication.

“So how (Stoops’) name got out there, of course he was a candidate. But we didn’t hire him. We hired Mike Elko, Mike Elko is a great coach and we’re gonna meet them in the playoffs because he’s going to build it. So at the end of the day, who did you hire and how did you get there? That’s what matters the most. So searches in today’s world are really, really probably unrealistic because of social media, plane tracking, or whatever. And so that’s what you have to do is just go through a process and pick the right person, and that’s what we did.”

At this point, it’s time for all parties to move on — media included.

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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire