Ohio State is looking for a new athletic director because Gene Smith is retiring once July rolls around. This is new President Ted Carter's first real challenge since taking over at the start of the year. It seems like the Buckeyes have zeroed in on who they want.
According to ESPN's Pete Thamel, Ohio State is narrowing in on Texas A&M AD Ross Bjork. Bjork has been with the Aggies since 2019. Before that, he was with Ole Miss from 2012-2019. He has a wealth of experience but no ties to Gene Smith or Ohio State at all.
If this is indeed the hire, it's odd for a few reasons. First off, he has no ties to Ohio State at all. The school of thought was that they were going to hire someone who had worked under Smith before. Clearly, that isn't the case if they do end up hiring Bjork.
Secondly, he's made some questionable decisions in his past stops. He extended Jimbo Fisher before ultimately having to fire him. Ole Miss fans seemed to love when he left too, which doesn't exactly give him a ringing endorsement. Making A&M eat all that money they gave to Jimbo is a tough look.
On the other hand, Bjork definitely has a hand on NIL and isn't afraid to use that avenue to attract talent. Perhaps that's what Carter wants more than anything else. We saw that approach didn't exactly work with A&M's football program this past year after most of them ran for the portal.
At least he wasn't afraid to fire Fisher when he wasn't getting the job done. I expect him to do the same thing with Chris Holtmann once this basketball season is done and next year with Ryan Day if he can't win. Those two sports need fresh coaches who can actually get the job done.
A deal is expected to be finalized soon. We'll see if anything changes between now and then.