Western Kentucky athletic director Ross Bjork appears headed to Mississippi, according to multiple sources.
Bjork, who started his second year at WKU on March 12, is rumored to take the same position at Ole Miss and replace Pete Boone who is expected to step down by year’s end. WKU associate athletic director Todd Stewart and Mississippi assistant athletics director Kyle Campbell would not confirm nor deny the reports. Efforts to reach both Bjork and WKU president Gary Ransdell went unanswered.
Bjork’s legacy, albeit a short one, included retaining football coach Willie Taggart – a move that lifted the Hilltoppers from the doldrums of the Sun Belt Conference and FBS to a 7-5 record.
Bjork also made headlines by firing men’s basketball coach Ken McDonald in January, then hiring assistant Ray Harper on a full-time basis in February.
The Hilltoppers won four games in four days at the SBC Tournament and a first round game in the NCAA Tournament before falling to top overall seed Kentucky.
Bjork also made the move to fire women’s basketball coach Mary Taylor Cowles earlier this month. That position has yet to be filled.
Before arriving on the Hill, Bjork directed all fund raising activities at UCLA, 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’s also worked on the senior staffs at UCLA, the University of Miami and the University of Missouri.
He began his administrative career at WKU as an Assistant Development Coordinator in 1996-97. 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”.
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