It is now official, Ross Bjork is leaving the Hill as athletic director and accepting the same position at Ole Miss.
While this move may surprise some, it shouldn't be all too shocking.
The AD position at WKU is comparable to the football and basketball head coaching positions. When you are successful at a mid-major level, a university from a larger conference will want your services and offer you more cash for those services.
It makes it hard for dear ol' Western to compete contractually. Therefore, you can't blame Bjork for wanting to advance his career and accept a new challenge on a larger scale.
Bjork was entering his third year at WKU and despite the short stint, he made some bold moves during his tenure.
Let's take a look back...
- Extending football coach Willie Taggart's contract and bumping his salary after a successful 7-5 campaign last season. A decision that was shunned by many but was necessary in order to establish faith in a talented coach and keep him around for the near future.
- The firing of men's basketball coach Ken McDonald in the middle of the season. Now, McDonald should have properly been fired at the end of last season, but Bjork kept him around in order to maintain a talented freshmen class. Which was a smart decision.
When the Tops compiled a putrid 5-11 record to begin the season, Bjork did not hesitate to give McDonald the axe, which brings us to the next bold move.
- The hiring of Ray Harper to take the reigns of the men's basketball program. The unofficial announcement was made by Bjork via Twitter, which showed the AD embraced social media as way to create buzz.
After the announcement, the Tops went on a memorable run starting with a Sun Belt Conference Tournament title, a magical come-from-behind victory over Mississippi Valley State in the First Four round, and ending with a respectable loss to Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Oh yea, he also fired women's head basketball coach Mary Taylor Cowles at the end of this past season. The Lady Tops have been struggling since the great Crystal Kelly graduated back in 2008.
Click here for the official statement from Ross Bjork.