Ohio State introduced new athletic director Ross Bjork on Wednesday, and one of the first things he did was give football coach Ryan Day a vote of confidence.
The university hired Bjork, 51, on Tuesday. He has been at the helm of the athletic department at Texas A&M since July 2019 and previously was the athletic director at Ole Miss and Western Kentucky.
Contract terms were not revealed.
Bjork will take over on July 1, replacing retiring athletic director Gene Smith. Until then, he undoubtedly will have his eyes on the football Buckeyes and Day, who was in the audience.
“I’m a football guy. I’m going to help and I’m going to make sure that, again, we compete at the highest level because the pedigree is here,” said Bjork, who went on to predict College Football Playoff titles in the future.
“This guy right here, Coach Day, he’s going to get it done,” Bjork said. “And it’s going to be a lot of fun when we win those championships.”
Day has a 56-8 record at Ohio State, which includes three games he filled in for a suspended Urban Meyer in 2018. He succeeded Meyer the following season.
His resume, however, includes three straight losses to rival Michigan and a 2-4 mark in bowl games.
A Kansas native who played football at Emporia State, Bjork fit the qualifications new Ohio State president Ted Carter recently said the school was looking for — extensive big school experience.
A blemish on Bjork’s record is the contract he gave to football coach Jimbo Fisher that left the school holding the bag for $77 million when Fisher was fired last fall. Carter said that situation was reviewed with Bjork during the hiring process and that he “owned it.”
Hiroyuki Fujita, chair of Ohio State’s board of trustees, echoed the need to bring in someone like Bjork.
“The college athletics landscape is changing each day, and Ohio State was firmly committed to finding an athletics director who would lead us with confidence and innovative thinking into the future,” Fujita said. “Ross Bjork possesses all the qualities we had envisioned — and more — and I am thrilled to welcome him to our Buckeye family.”
–Field Level Media