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Texas A&M Football

Bjork outlines Texas A&M's path forward following ouster of Fisher

November 12, 2023
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In a Sunday evening press conference, Texas A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork discussed firing coach Jimbo Fisher, how to pay his enormous contractual buy-out and the plan to hire his replacement.

Bjork and Texas A&M University Interim President Mark Welsh III met with Fisher on Sunday morning to inform him he would no longer be leading the Texas A&M football program.

Mark Robinson, Associate Athletic Director for Football Operations, was also told his employment was terminated effective immediately.

Fisher, who has eight years remaining on a guaranteed 10-year, $95 million contract, will be paid 25 percent of what he’s owed — about $19 million — within 60 days of his termination. He’ll receive about $7 million within 120 days. The remainder will be paid in installments over a period of eight years.

Fisher originally signed a 10-year, $75 million deal in December of 2017. However, in 2020, the Aggies were 9-1, won the Orange Bowl and finished ranked No. 4. Fisher was also in the process of assembling the No. 1 ranked 2022 recruiting class. Also, LSU was reportedly trying to hire him to replace its fired coach, Ed Orgeron.

In reaction, A&M offered a raise to $9.5 million a year and a contract extension.

Bjork stressed the Texas A&M Athletic Department and 12th Man Foundation could cover the costs.

"We will use unrestricted contributions within the 12th Man Foundation for the first one-time payments,” he said. “The athletic department will fund the annual payments for the remaining portion by growing our revenues and adjusting our annual operating budget accordingly.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
After a 4-1 start this season, Fisher’s Aggies dropped three of their next four games before taking on Mississippi State.

Though Fisher’s dismissal was not unexpected, the timing was curious because the Aggies defeated Mississippi State 51-10 on Saturday night.

But that win was just a respite in a third consecutive disappointing football season.

The Aggies, who are 6-4 this season, were 45-25 overall and 27-21 in SEC play since Fisher took over the football program in 2018.

“You’re either moving forward, or you’re stuck,” Bjork said. “I use that analogy of driving down a four-lane highway. I drive fast, 75-80. And somebody is in the left lane going 55 and won’t move over. We were that car going 55.”

Co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Elijah Robison will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Aggies face Abilene Christian next Saturday and close the regular season at LSU on Nov. 25. Robinson will also serve as interim coach in a bowl game.

Though the timing for Fisher’s ouster seemed questionable after a lopsided victory, Bjork pointed out the transfer portal opens on Dec. 4. Additionally, the early National Signing Day is Dec. 20.

Bjork hinted that he would like to name Fisher’s replacement in time for him to be involved in the transfer portal.

However, he also indicated coaches of teams that will be involved in the College Football Playoff could be considered.

Although Bjork said no one game led to the decision to move on from Fisher, A&M’s 38-35 loss to Ole Miss two weeks ago seemed to be a final straw.

Bjork, who previously served as athletic director at Ole Miss, admitted he was especially perplexed after that loss. He sat on his porch later that weekend, asking himself a series of questions:

“Why is this not working?” Bjork said. “What is the problem? What do Aggies think? Do we have any hope? Where do we go?”

The next day, he phoned Welsh to schedule a Monday meeting to plan moves forward. They recommended to Chancellor John Sharp a change was “absolutely necessary.”

On Thursday, Bjork informed the Board of Regents of his decision.

“The assessment that I delivered was that we are not reaching our full potential,” Bjork said. “We are not in the championship conversation. Something is not quite right about our direction and the plan.”

Following the victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night, Bjork told Fisher they needed to meet on Sunday morning at Kyle Field.

“A little before 9 a.m. this morning, President Welsh and I met with coach Fisher and informed him that we were making an immediate change and he would no longer serve as our football coach,” Bjork said.

Bjork said the meeting was “quick and cordial.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Robinson came to Texas A&M in 2018 as a defensive line coach before being promoted to assistant head coach in 2022.

At 11 a.m., Bjork confirmed to the team that Fisher had been fired and that Robinson would assume the head coach position in the interim.

According to sources, the news of Robinson’s elevation to head coach was enthusiastically approved by the players.

“I told players my job to make decisions that are in the best interest of the university and to put them in position to succeed and provide the resources and the leadership to make that happen,” Bjork said.

Bjork’s next task will be working with a football advisory group, as well as former players, to find Fisher’s successor.

“Our search will be comprehensive in nature,” Bjork said. “The timing (of Fisher’s dismissal) does give us a chance to survey the landscape, test the market place and zero in on top candidates. We will be diligent, confidential and also efficient.

“I will use a football advisory group of key people that understand winning football, culture and Texas A&M and what makes this place special.”

Bjork said he had a profile for A&M’s next coach. The qualities of the candidate will include:

  • A program identity
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Track record of player development
  • Commitment to academics
  • Is a recruiting machine
  • Supreme organizational skills
  • Culture of discipline
  • Passion for the game
  • Proven winner
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Involved in the community
  • Knowledge of Xs and Os
  • Understands and can capitalize on today’s college athletics

Of course, the next coach will be paid extremely well. But Bjork seemed to suggest A&M might not be willing to offer a decade-long guaranteed contract.

“We have to learn a lesson,” Bjork said. “The dynamics around that decision in 2021 … that’s an institutional decision, but I take responsibility.

“I didn’t work out… Clearly, it didn’t work out. We’re going to learn from that and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

Discussion from...

Bjork outlines Texas A&M's path forward following ouster of Fisher

30,163 Views | 28 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by philevans
mac36
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Dan Lanning as the new head coach (he's at Oregon right now. I'd like to see him hire Brian Hartline from Ohio State as the OC.
TAMU74
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AG
Bjork got played by Scott Woodard.
Disappointed we have an AD who clearly is not on his game.
I question whether he'll be able to make a good decision regarding the next head coach.
JimAggie
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AG
How about we try hiring an up-and-comer rather than a has-been...to a 4-year contract. It's not rocket science.

Whoever the idiot was that came up with a guaranteed, no performance necessary, contract should be banned from making any decisions on Aggie athletics.

...and lose that stupid "fake national championship" trophy.
jimaggie
fav13andac1)c
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AG
TAMU74 said:

Bjork got played by Scott Woodard.
Disappointed we have an AD who clearly is not on his game.
I question whether he'll be able to make a good decision regarding the next head coach.


Ross wasn't the DM on the extension if that's what you're saying.
Sarge 77
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The money saved from going on road trips the night before instead of 2 nights before…can go towards the annual buyout payment.
Meximan
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Honestly... give Robinson an honest look. He's a strong recruiter, young, and apparently great with the kids.
Batzarro
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AG
What is DM? Who approved the ridiculous extension?
Batzarro
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AG
Olin the article says that Robinson was fired as associate athletic director but then says that Robinson was named interim head coach. Are they the same guy? I have no idea who the staff is because I have been boycotting this season with Jimbo at the helm. Just got back.
fav13andac1)c
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Batzarro said:

Olin the article says that Robinson was fired as associate athletic director but then says that Robinson was named interim head coach. Are they the same guy? I have no idea who the staff is because I have been boycotting this season with Jimbo at the helm. Just got back.


DM means the decision-maker…

Mark Robinson was associate director of football operations.

Elijah Robinson is our associate head coach and the Dline coach. Been here for years.
HWDYDMIT
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AG
Saw that it was the "assistant athletic director for football operations Mark Robinson" was the Robinson that was also fired today.
agcivengineer
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AG
So basically expect ticket prices and donation requirements to go up because our board of regents and athletic directors are idiots. They are basically borrowing future money to pay this buyout...they don't have the cash ready to go. Think about how poor of a decision this is. What happens when the next coach flops and we owe even more buyout? It's time for our BOR to resign.
W
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AG
what did the Mark Robinson guy do to get fired immediately?

getting some blame for the long road losing streak?
OKC~Ag
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Sarge 77 said:

The money saved from going on road trips the night before instead of 2 nights before…can go towards the annual buyout payment.
This was one of jimbo's strange choice and decision likely had negative impact on win/loss balance more than cost of lodging...staying at hotel with bunch young man for multiple days instead of keeping their regular schedule at home to minimise interruption to athete's routine.

Wonder why jimbo road records was so bad? This. Jimbo stays at some strange hotel away for few days and play bad football...instead of traveling last minute to away agame and play good football.
BoerneGator
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Quote:

They are basically borrowing future money to pay this buyout...they don't have the cash ready to go.
Not true. TMF gave the AD a check for $160,470,000 at halftime at last nights game (from donors). That's just ONE of the reasons "this place" is so special, and a potential juggernaut for the right coach. Always has been, but the ever-growing alumni numbers generate a cash flow few can match, but those donors expect results in order for the "flow" to continue.

That's why this move can be seen as a wise decision from a purely financial standpoint. Long term, it could prove more costly not to make the change now.
MagnumLoad
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fav13andac1)c said:

TAMU74 said:

Bjork got played by Scott Woodard.
Disappointed we have an AD who clearly is not on his game.
I question whether he'll be able to make a good decision regarding the next head coach.


Ross wasn't the DM on the extension if that's what you're saying.

And I seriously doubt Bjork was the DM on firing Fisher. Also, he said how the dept and 12th man would pay Fisher; but not how the new HC and staff would be paid.. This could be a real cluster, particularly if the hiring process drags out.
I hate tu. It's in my blood.
Johndeere
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AD indicated future payments to Fisher will be by "growing revenue and adjusting the budget accordingly". In other words, increase donation fees by a couple hundred per donor each year, record those as additional revenue in the budget, and show it as an expense on the budget. BMDs aren't paying for this. They just get to make the decisions. Figures.
Paul Wallace
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"Got Rock$ (more money than common sense) forced AD Byork to make a poor decision. A&M makes field goal & beats #10 Ole Miss. Jimbo's team would be on its way to a possible 10 win season. No AD is going to fire a 9-10 coach. With the possibility of a 9 win season, Byork saves himself an embarrassment by firing Jimbo before that happens. On the Jimbo front, pay Jimbo as the most expensive college football Recruiter. Now, we don't have a top recruiter and Jimbo can return to his home state & let the 12th Man pay for his run at the now open US Senate seat. Peculiar things seam to always happen to the School I Love So Well. Gig 'EM Aggies!
texag65
Matsui
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CuervoAg
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AG
Go get Jeff Traylor - to quote the Capital One commercials "it's the easiest decision in the history of decisions".
"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son." -- Dean Wormer, Faber College President
TAMU74
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AG
fav13andac1)c said:

TAMU74 said:

Bjork got played by Scott Woodard.
Disappointed we have an AD who clearly is not on his game.
I question whether he'll be able to make a good decision regarding the next head coach.


Ross wasn't the DM on the extension if that's what you're saying.
Not saying Ross was "the" DM.
He was in on the DM as he stated and took responsibility for in the news conference.
Who do you think Scott Woodard or Coach Fisher's agent contacted to discuss Jimbo's future?
Seriously doubt they called John Sharp or the BOR first.
Class of 65
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AG
Hire R C Slocum
E A DANNHAUS Class of 65
Woods Ag
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Oh please..

You either have an axe to grind with Biork or you're uninformed. He didn't have anything to do with Fisher and it was out of his hands.
Camrossmartin
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TAMU74 said:

Bjork got played by Scott Woodard.
Disappointed we have an AD who clearly is not on his game.
I question whether he'll be able to make a good decision regarding the next head coach.
Pretty sure Woodward still thinks Jimbo's the guy, even after the last three seasons. You're over complicating this the same way Jimbo over complicates offenses.
agwrestler
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JimAggie said:

How about we try hiring an up-and-comer rather than a has-been...to a 4-year contract. It's not rocket science.

Whoever the idiot was that came up with a guaranteed, no performance necessary, contract should be banned from making any decisions on Aggie athletics.

...and lose that stupid "fake national championship" trophy.


Donate that **** to bonfire!!
DGrimesAg92
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Glenn Schumann

Go get him now!!
RooneyGator92
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Long time observer first time post...Here is what I propose:

Give someone young and vetted like Coach Robinson a $1M base and another $1M for every SEC and top 25 win. Then $2M to make NC game and $5M to win NC. Next year back to same model...maybe raise the base with inflation.

How about it?

Dan '92
Gator 2
4
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agcivengineer said:

So basically expect ticket prices and donation requirements to go up because our board of regents and athletic directors are idiots.

Not for me, they won't.
philevans
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the 105k seat house that johnny built needs consistency in coaching. something that was lacking with previous two coaches, big name coaches lacking ability to motivate players to reach above themselves and meld into a team.
TXlic GIGM61
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