March 20, 2012
Ole Miss' search to replace retiring athletics director Pete Boone, one that began officially last November, has ended.
Western Kentucky athletics director Ross Bjork interviewed in Oxford on Sunday and Monday, according to multiple sources, all speaking on the condition of anonymity. On Tuesday, according to a source close to the Western Kentucky program, Bjork called his coaches off the road and back to Bowling Green.
Bjork's hiring at Ole Miss is expected to be announced sometime Wednesday. He could be announced at Ole Miss as early as Thursday, per a source close to WKU.
Reached for comment, Ole Miss Senior Associate AD for Communications and Marketing Michael Thompson said, "I cannot confirm this." However, the Bowling Green Daily News, citing multiple sources, has also confirmed RebelGrove.com's report regarding Bjork's departure for Ole Miss
Bjork has been the Western Kentucky athletics director since March 2010, and despite being the youngest A.D. of the 120 NCAA FBS programs, he has significant administrative experience at other major universities. From 2005 to 2010, Bjork was the Senior Associate A.D. for External Relations at UCLA, where he directed all fund raising activities, including the John Wooden Athletic Fund, marketing, promotions, ticket sales, branding, licensing, merchandising, corporate sponsorships, ISP Sports, radio rights, television rights, web site, and other sources of revenue generation.
He spent two years at Miami, where he directed the search that led to Frank Haith's hiring as basketball coach and handled all revenue opportunities, including the negotiations of Miami's contracts with Nike and Gatorade. Bjork was at Missouri from 1997 to 2003, the last two years as Assistant Athletic Director for Development, where he oversaw all development operations that received record funds each year.
According to the Daily News, "Bjork's original contract as of January, 2011, calls for $100,000 "severance fee" and must "use his best efforts at the hiring institution to schedule two-year home/home game series between the men's and women's basketball teams and one home/home game series for the football team."