Ross Bjork, who has worked the last five seasons as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and External Relations at UCLA, has been named Western Kentucky University’s Director of Athletics, President Dr. Gary Ransdell announced today. Bjork has 18 years of intercollegiate athletics experience as an administrator and student-athlete, having also worked on the senior staffs at the University of Miami and the University of Missouri. He also served as Assistant Development Coordinator at WKU in 1996-97. Bjork will replace Dr. Wood Selig, who is leaving WKU to serve as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Old Dominion University. Bjork will be the youngest Athletics Director among the 120 members of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
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“We are very pleased to welcome Ross back to WKU as our new Director of Athletics,” Ransdell said. “We had an extremely impressive pool of candidates for this position, which speaks to the respect this university and athletic department have nationwide. After narrowing our list of candidates and then conducting interviews in Hot Springs last weekend, it became evident that Ross was unquestionably the best person to lead our athletic program. We have enjoyed unprecedented success in many areas under Wood Selig’s direction, and I have the utmost confidence that Ross will help us continue to raise the bar of success. He has an extensive array of experiences, and he has a proven track record of major accomplishments on a high level at multiple universities. He has made a significant impact everywhere he has been, and we are moving forward with the right man leading the WKU athletic department.”
“It is truly a dream come true for me to return to WKU as Director of Athletics, and I would like to thank Dr. Ransdell and the search committee for the confidence they have placed in me,” Bjork said. “This is a vibrant university that continues to excel and reach new heights each year under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Ransdell and the Board of Regents, and it is an honor to return to WKU. I have enjoyed following the Toppers closely ever since I worked here, and the combination of championships, high graduation rates and major facility improvements that Dr. Selig and this athletic department have accomplished is very impressive.
“WKU’s legendary history and this program’s foundation have enabled a high level of success to be achieved in many areas. Success of this magnitude cannot be sustained without a total commitment from student-athletes, coaches, the administration and the community. We will continue to strive for excellence in everything we do, and I am looking forward to the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead. We are also truly inspired by the tremendous support of the Hilltopper nation, and we look forward to building and sustaining lifelong relationships with as many WKU constituents as possible. Our family cannot wait to settle into the Bowling Green community.”
“This is a great opportunity for Ross and we couldn’t be happier for him. During his four-plus years here at UCLA, we have seen measurable improvement in our fundraising, sponsorship and other revenue generating efforts,” said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. “Recently, Ross has been a key component in the success of the Campaign of Champions for Pauley Pavilion. As a member of my senior administration, Ross has proven to be well-versed in all of the various areas of an athletic program, including sport supervision, budgeting, marketing, donor relations and fundraising. He has worked hard to prepare himself for this opportunity and is ready to sit in the Athletic Director’s chair. He is a rising star in our business and I know that he will do a great job for Western Kentucky University. We wish Ross and his family great success in this new endeavor.”