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Ohio St hires Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork to replace the retiring Gene Smith

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork has been hired at Ohio State to replace longtime athletic director Gene Smith, who will retire July 1.

Ohio State leaders announced Bjork's hiring on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old Kansas native, who has more than 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, has been at Texas A&M since 2019.

Before that, he was the athletic director at the University of Mississippi. He also served on the athletics staff at Western Kentucky, UCLA, Miami (Florida) and the University of Missouri.

“Few athletics directors have established such an impressive and strong record of success in athletics, in the classroom and throughout the community,” said Ohio State president Walter “Ted” Carter Jr., who began his own tenure at the university on Jan. 1.

“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," Carter said.

At Texas A&M, Bjork helped guide leaders in the Texas legislature in the development of the new NIL law. He also oversaw the creation of programs to equip student-athletes with education and resources related to finance, personal branding, networking and media training.

“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," Bjork said. "I can’t wait to get started.”

The nationally influential Smith is in his 19th year at Ohio State, running one of the largest and most successful athletic programs in the country.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football