March 21st, 2012 09:11 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Ole Miss
Tags: Lesson Bjork, Miami, Sun Belt Tournament, WKU
The web is buzzing this morning with news about Bjork. No, not the oddball Icelandic singer best known for wearing a swan dress. The Western Kentucky athletic director who is reportedly being hired to replace the outgoing Pete Boone at Ole Miss.
RebelGrove.com — the Rivals site covering UM — reported last evening that Bjork had requested all WKU’s coaches return to Bowling Green yesterday so he could deliver the news of his departure first-hand.
Bjork is the ultimate up-and-comer. Hired in 2010 at the age of 37, he was the youngest AD in the nation when he joined the Hilltopper program. He’s been on the job at WKU for just two years and eight days, but he’s made big news in basketball circles in that short time.
Last offseason, he chose to give head basketball coach Ken McDonald another year to revive his program. Midway through this season — with WKU just 5-11 — Bjork reversed field and canned McDonald, a move which drew plenty of guff from basketball writers across the country. His flip-flop was partly offset by the fact that assistant coach Ray Harper upset a series of teams to win the Sun Belt Tournament and gain entry into the NCAA Tournament field with a losing record. Lesson: Bjork’s not afraid to make a controversial decision. (Or he’s wishy-washy. You decide.)
Prior to arriving at WKU, Bjork had worked — or wjorked — in two of the biggest athletic departments in the nation. From 2005 to 2010 he worked at UCLA where he acted as chief fundraiser. Before that, he oversaw the basketball program at Miami from 2003 to 2005. He began his career at WKU in 1996 in a smaller capacity and then moved up to Missouri before joining Miami’s team.
An Emporia State and Western Illinois grad as well as a Kansas native, Bjork has no ties to the University of Mississippi aside from the fact that the committee that found him includes Archie Manning. And that should be good enough for most Reb fans.
An official announcement from the school is expected today.
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