Ohio State

Ohio State introduces new athletic director to replace Gene Smith

COLUMBUS — Ohio State University president Walter “Ted” Carter Jr. introduced their new athletic director on Wednesday.

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Ross Bjork, 51, will replace the retiring Gene Smith.

He has more than 30 years of experience in college athletics, most recently as the athletic director at Texas A&M, the university said.

“Few athletics directors have established such an impressive and strong record of success in athletics, in the classroom and throughout the community,” Carter said. “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.”

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Bjork is still employed by Texas A&M and won’t officially take over Smith’s position until July 1.

“I have been extraordinarily blessed to be a product of college athletics as a student-athlete and fortunate to work with so many outstanding student-athletes, coaches, staff, and university leaders throughout my career, and Ohio State represents the culmination of these efforts,” he said. “To be a part of Buckeye Nation, along with its storied traditions and long history of achievement, is a tremendous honor and a welcome challenge for me and our family. I can’t wait to get started.”

Smith said that Bjork is “uniquely equipped to step in” and make an immediate impact at Ohio State.

“Ohio State has afforded me the professional opportunity of a lifetime, and I am forever grateful,” he said. “My final, important project over the next several months will be to work with Ross to ensure a smooth and effective transition with our student-athletes, coaches, department staff, and university leaders.”

Bjork and his wife, Sonya, have two sons.

His mother is a native of Williamstown, where she grew up on the family’s farm.

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