Ross Bjork selected as NACDA 3rd Vice President
CLEVELAND – NACDA’s Board of Directors announced that Texas A&M University Director of Athletics Ross Bjork has been selected to serve as the Association’s 3rd Vice President, effective immediately.
“I have been a member of NACDA or NAADD since 1997 and would not be where I am today without the benefits of the Annual Convention, the educational sessions, and the invaluable network of industry leaders I have interacted with along the way,” said Bjork. “I could have never imagined that one day I would be named an Officer and God willing, serve as President of NACDA. Leadership is about serving others and I am humbled for the opportunity to give back in many ways over the next four years. Thanks to the NACDA Board of Director and all the great NACDA staff for this opportunity.”
“After watching Ross move up the ranks in his career and set a remarkable example for his peers, coaches and student-athletes alike, it is with great pride that we welcome him as our 3rd Vice President,” said NACDA Chief Executive Officer, Bob Vecchione. “Three of our five NACDA Officers are Past Presidents of one of our Affiliate Associations – Jamie Pollard (CABMA), Pennie Parker (D2 ADA) and now Ross, a former leader of NAADD. It is inspiring to see these administrators come full circle and working together, ready to serve and guide the membership into this new era of college athletics.”
Bjork began his position as Texas A&M director of athletics on July 8, 2019 and wasted little time to make his mark in Aggieland.
When faced with the challenge of COVID-19, Bjork was a pioneer and leader in the profession as he helped navigate Texas A&M, the SEC and the NCAA through the return to play from the pandemic. With his open line of communication and commitment to student-athlete safety, Texas A&M Athletics was able to provide a full student-athlete experience in 2020-21.
Bjork provided input and guidance to leadership in the Texas legislature as they developed a comprehensive Name, Image and Likeness law in the spring of 2021. He then oversaw the creation and implementation of AMPLIFY, which will enhance Texas A&M’s commitment to its student-athletes via an innovative and comprehensive Name, Image and Likeness program designed to equip Aggie student-athletes with tools and training to maximize their brand and platform. AMPLIFY will serve Texas A&M student-athletes with best-in-class education and resources related to personal branding, networking, finance, media training and more.
Bjork’s leadership extends outside of Aggieland and onto a national scale. He currently serves on the NCAA Student-Athlete Experience Committee and just completed a stint on the NCAA DI Working Group on Transfers.
He came to Aggieland from the University of Mississippi, where he served as the director of athletics for seven years and was the youngest AD among the Power 5 conferences when hired. There, he oversaw a department with a staff of over 250 employees. During his tenure at Ole Miss, revenue generated within athletics more than doubled, from $57 million to $117 million.
Bjork arrived in Oxford after a stint as director of athletics at Western Kentucky University (WKU) where he quickly established an atmosphere of success. The youngest athletics director of the 120 NCAA FBS programs when hired at WKU, Bjork has an extensive career in intercollegiate athletics with more than two decades of experience as an administrator and student-athlete, having worked on the senior staffs at UCLA, where he served under NACDA Past President and Hall of Famer Dan Guerrero, the University of Miami and the University of Missouri, where he served under NACDA Past President and Hall of Famer Mike Alden.
Bjork began his administrative career at WKU as an assistant development coordinator in 1996-97.
He has held numerous leadership positions around college athletics during his career including NAADD President in 2006-07, NACDA Executive Committee (2015-19), SEC awards committee chair, NCAA men’s basketball oversight committee and the NCAA transfer working group. He also served as the moderator and host of the Senior Administrators Mentoring Institute, held annually in conjunction with the NACDA & Affiliates Convention, including the well-respected “Dinner with a Legend” event.
Bjork moves into the NACDA 3rd VP role for 2021-22 as Washington State’s Pat Chun moves to 2nd VP, filling a vacancy left after Kim Record stepped down as director of athletics at UNCG.
What They’re Saying About Ross Bjork
“NACDA has identified an outstanding person in Ross Bjork in naming him the 3rd Vice President. Ross exemplifies professionalism, engagement, student-athlete focus and true servant leadership. NACDA and all of our members will be well served by Ross in this important role.”
Mike Alden, NACDA Past President (2013-14)
“Absolutely thrilled by the news of selection of Ross Bjork as an officer of NACDA! As a Past President myself, I know how important this role is as we develop the future leaders of our profession. For as long as I’ve known and worked with Ross, he’s understood the true role of a servant leader. His career journey been a shining example of investing time in developing oneself to better lead others. Time and time again he has poured into others’ success through mentoring and professional development. He’s exceptionally well-prepared and skilled for this role, especially at such an important time in our history. Congratulations to Ross and NACDA on this fantastic selection.”
Joe Castiglione, Director of Athletics, University of Oklahoma, NACDA Past President (2002-03)
“Ross is one of the premier thought leaders in college athletics -- a leader who balances forward thinking with a servant’s heart. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Ross and have enjoyed witnessing his rise to one of the nation’s top athletics directors. He is a disciple of NACDA who has grown professionally from the organization while giving back to the membership in many ways. He will be an excellent addition to an already first-rate NACDA cabinet.”
Dan Guerrero, NACDA Past President (2011-12)
“Ross has provided leadership as an athletics director on three different Division I campuses, and has been incredibly effective guiding the programs at Western Kentucky, Ole Miss and now, at Texas A&M. I know he will make important contributions as a NACDA Officer during a transformational time when we all are participating to shape the future opportunities available to young people through intercollegiate athletics. I congratulate Ross and NACDA for his appointment to this important role.”
Greg Sankey, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference
About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 57th year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 22,000 college athletics administrators at more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 6,500 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 17 professional associations and four foundations. For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.